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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 29, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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geraldine ferraro, a former member of the united states house of representatives, a congresswoman from new york, who was the first woman to be nominated by a major party for vice president, has lost her gallant and persistent fight against cancer and has passed away. i really thank the leadership for offering a resolution noting the many contributions that she made to america and express the condolences for her family. because, you see, mr. president, for we women before 1960geri was a force of nature, a powerhouse. she changed the face of politics. she changed the way women thought of themselves and what we believed we could accomplish. on july 11, 1984, when mo walter mondale called geri ferraro and sctd her to be his
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vice-presidential running mate, an amazing thing happened: they took down the men-only sign on the white house. they took down the men-only sign on the white house. for geri and all american women, there was no turning back, only going forward. america knows ger implete as a political phenomenon. i knew her as a dear friend and colleague. we served in the house together in the late-1970's and when she left in 1984 to run for vice president, i left in 1986 to run for the senate. we were among the early bird women in the house of representatives and as early birds, we weren't fraid to ruffle some feathers. we had some good times and passed some good legislation. it must be historically noted that when geri came not house in 1979, only 16 women were there.
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in 1984 when she left, my gosh, we'd moved to 23. but in 2011, on the day of her death, 74 women now serve in the house, 50dems, 24 republicans, and 26 of those women are women of color. in the congress, geri was a fighter, she was a fighter from new york. she fought for transit, she fought for tunnels, and she loved earmarks. earmarks that would help move her community forward. she also fought for the little guy and gal. she was known for her attention to constituent services. the senior getting a social security check, the vet who needed his disability benefits, the kid from a blue-collar neighborhood like herself who wanted to go for college -- go to college, and she fought for women. she fought for our status and she gave us a new stature. when the campaign was over, she
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continued for all of her life to be a source of inspiration and empowerment for women. in those early days of the second wave of the american women's movement, the movement defined we women on what we did not have, what we did not have access to, what was it we didn't have? equal pay for equal work. it's hard to believe that we were not included in the research protocols at n.i.h. and when it came to having access to credit, we could not get a loan or a mortgage in our own name in many circumstances. weengdzed a husband, a father, or a brother to sign for it. but when geri was chosen for vice president, she showed us what we could be what modern women in america had become. women felt if we could go for the white house, we could go for anything. geri inspired. and on the night of july 19,
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1984, in san francisco, in the musconi center, geri gave her acceptance speech. she became the first woman to be nominated for vice president for a major party. what a night. i was there. the thrill, the excitement in the room, the turbo energy that was there. 10,000 people joined the -- jammed the musconi center. guy delegates gave their tickets away to either alter nationals, to their daughters, to people who helped out. she wanted to be there. people brought their children. they carried them. they put them on their shell doers to see -- on their shoulders to see what was go to occur. when geraldine ferraro walked on that stage, she electrified all of us. the convention gave her a 10-minute standing and resounding ovation. we just couldn't sit down
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because we knew a barrier had been broken and for the rest the as she made history, there would be more on the way. during that campaign, it was hard-fought. she traveled over 55,000 miles, visited 85 cities, campaigned her heart out. but it was not meant to be. the ticket lost to reagan-bush. but though she lost the election, she did not lose her way. geri never gave up and never gave in. her storied career continued. a teacher at harvard, a u.n. ambassador on human rights -- alalways teaching, always inspiring, always empowering thousands of women here and around the world. then in 1998, she was diagnosed with blood cancer, and once again she was determined not to give up and not to give in. she began the greatest campaign of her life.
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she began the campaign for her own life. she fought her cancer, and she not only fought her cancer, she also fought for cancer victims. she forged a relationship with senator kay bailey hutchison, as we will as my friendship. you see, senator kay bailey will tell this story herself. her brother alan -- alan bailey -- soferredz from the same disease as geri. they met through an advocacy group on multiple my len know ma. then they said, alan bailey and geraldine ferraro joined hands and joined together and kay bailey hutchison and i did, and we introduced the geri ferraro research investment and education afnlgt i wanted it to be ferraro-bailey but alan very graciously said, geri is a marquee name. she will attract at love attention. we can hopefully get a lot of
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money for research and more interest in this dreaded disease. this legislation paled and it showed sometimes when we come together out of common adversity, we find common cause and we get things done. that bill passed, and it is changing lives. geri did various clinical drills and often we talked. this is what she said to me during the last few weeks. she said, i'm glad i could be in those clinical trials. in many ways they helped me live. but we also knew the research would provide lessons so that others could live. once again her mentor was, never give up, never give in. she had toughness, persistence, ten n.a.s.cyty, and an un-- tenacity, an an unfailing optimism in the face of diversitadversity. it was her personal story that brought us together. you see, mr. president, we were both from european ethnic backgrounds.
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she italian, i of my proud polish heritage. we grew up in urban villages. her father own add dime store. my father owned a grocery store. very much involved with our customers and community. we had strong mothers who wanted to make sure we had good educations. when ger i's dad died, geri's mother took a job in the garment industry. she sewed beads on wedding dresses to make sure her children had an education. geri went to marymount, she became a scholarship girl because she was so smart and had so much talent. she felt it was the nuns who played a big role in her life. they coached her to be smart and taught her to be a great debater. her faith was about the
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attitudes. the one that said hunger and thirst after justice. the other day when geri and i were talking, she reminded me that not only did she go to marymount, but so did lady gaga. she said, i'm just sorry i can't live to go to more alumni associations. and then there was john, her beloved husband, a love story for the ages. i was there at this church just over a year ago when they renewed their vows for their 50th anniversary. their vows were not just for a day or for a year, for a decade. you see, they believed that their vows are for eternity. and geri loved her husband and she loved her children donna, john, and laura. and she was so proud of them, one a doctor, one an accomplished businessman, another a tv producer and also had worked on wall street. and oh, my gosh, the grandchildren. there was always the pictures
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and the stories of many storied accomplishments. you see, geri ferraro loved her family. she loved her extended family that went to her friends and her community, and she loved america because she believed, as she said to me, only in america, barbara, would somebody who startled out -- who started out in a regular neighborhood, whose father passed away and her mother taught her great determination could go on to be the vice president of the united states, to be an ambassador on human rights and to make a difference in the lives of her family and her community. geri, we will miss you but your legacy will live forever. mr. president, that concludes my remarks, but i would now like to turn to senator barbara boxer and then to senator kay bailey hutchison. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i'm so proud to be here with my colleague, senator mikulski and kay bailey
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hutchison, because of a woman who brought us all together, despite any differences we might have. geraldine ferraro. and so i rise to pay tribute to geri and i want to thank senator mikulski because i felt that her remarks just touched on every single point that i think needs to be made about our friend. geraldine was a trailblazer. we all remember the first female vice-presidential nominee of a major pearlt, the first in u.s. history. she cracked open that glass ceiling for women seeking higher office. and it was a long time ago, and i just looked at the associated press, mr. president, had a photo of when geri arrived in
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san francisco to prepare for her speech at the convention. and i was there waiting for her to arrive, a much version of myself, i might say. and i -- i don't remember what i said or did, but this picture tells a story. you know that old sailing, a picture says 1,000 words. this one says "a million words." i've never seen anyone as excited as i appear to be and was in this picture. arms opened wide, body language just incredulous that we had reached this milestone, all the while knowing what a tough, tough, tough time it would be. a tough, tough time it would be for geri, as it is for all women, whether they run for u.s.
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senate, or they run for governor or they run for vice president. it is a tough road still. and especially all these many years ago, more than 20 years ago. geri was give an very hard time by the press. geri was give an very hard time by her 0 opponent. and shee here's what she proved. she proved without question that women can stand up to the grilling, women can stand up to the pressure, women can go toe to toe with anybody. you know, i often say, women are equal. we're not better or worse. we're equal. and geri proved it when her campaign took a tough turn and a lot of others would have just tried to contain the problem. she stood there in front of the press and said, here i am. you ask me anything you want. and i will stay here hour after
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hour, and you knew she meant it. she would have stayed there for days because that was geri. she was open-hearted, she was straight from the shoulder, she always said what was on her mind, and she did it in a way that was also very appealing because you knew this was a woman who was willing to look you in the eye and not give you any song and dance. i mean, it was what it was. and for that she will be missed as a friend, as a colleague, and it is just difficult today to imagine what it was like then. is now, yonow, you know, we seen figures in the senate and in the president's cabinet and it's hard to imagine a day that women were not actively engaged in the highest of offices and, frankly,
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that is geraldine ferraro's abiding legacy, because, as senator mikulski so eloquently stated, she didn't win that race. it was a tough race. it was a very tough race. but she proved a woman can do this. and when geri spoke about change, she felt in her heart the history-making moment. i remember her in a white suit. it was as if it was yesterday. and i remember saying, in those years, tv people always said, don't wear white. geri wore white. she was magnificent. and that smile and her togetherness at this moment in history when not only was the whole country watching, the whole world was watching. it was an electric moment. and i want to read what she said -- quote -- "by choosing a woman to run for our nation's second highest office, you sent a
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powerful signal to all americans, there are no doors we cannot unlock. we will place no limits on our achievements. if we can do this, we can do anything." and those words resonated, not just to people who are interested in politics but to women who were in the corporate world, to women who were going to law school, just a few in those years. now so many more. women who just dreamed to go into health care, not as a nurse, although some chose that, and some men do as well, but as physicians. this was something that i truly believe changed. i would ask unanimous consent for five additional minutes and then turn it over to senator hutchison. the presiding officer: without objection. that's going to run up way past our adjournment time. without objection. mrs. boxer: there was only one geri ferraro so i would go over for five minutes and turn it over to senator hutchison for as
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long as she would want. after graduation from college, geri got a job as a school at a public -- teacher as a public school in queens. she applied to fordham law school, the law school my husband went to. she was accepted into a night school. despite a warning from an admissions officer that she might be taking a man's place. she got into law school. she was one of two women in a class of 179. imagine, they said to her, you will be taking a man's place in law school. she persevered. one of just two women out of 179 students graduating in 1960. yes, she raised her family. she adored her family. there wasn't a second that went by water her saying to one of us anywhere in earshot, i've got to tell you about laura, i've got to tell you about john, i've got to tell you what about my kids are doing. did my colleague want to yield? mr. durbin: i would ask if the senator from california would
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just yield for a brief statement. mrs. boxer: yes. as long as it won't interrupt my -- mr. durbin: i would ask it be put in a separate place in the record and i will put a written statement in the record because i know senator hutchison is waiting. but i would like to make one or two comments about geraldine fur ar row. first, my image of geraldine ferraro is this young congresswoman from california with her arms outstretched as she raced toward one another that iconic photograph of the two of you after she won the vice presidential nomination. i'll remember you and her in that context forever. second, it was my honor to serve with her in the house and to count her as a friend. and, third, in this long, long battle that she had, this medical battle, she never failed to remind all of us that she was, indeed, one of the fortunate ones who had the resources to be able to fight this battle where many people didn't. and i'm going to miss area is dean ferraro. she was -- geraldine ferraro. she was a grat woman. -- she was a greatwoman. i ask that my statement be put
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in the record after senator hutchison. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer boxer: i'm glad you e that statement and i appreciate it very much. when geri worked as an assistant district attorney, she formed a special victim's bureau, investigated way, child and women abuse, abuse against the elderly at a time when no one was talking about it. she was elected to congress. senator mikulski has gone into, that the work on the women's health equity act. i was proud to work with both senator mikulski and senator ferraro on that and senator snowe and others. i remember that senator mikulski, olympia snowe, geri ferraro and myself, we worked to open up the house gym to women. it was a battle. we had to resort to singing and everything else. we finally got into the house gym. we said, yes, women need to work out too. that was -- that's the way it was then. we only had 24 women in the house and senate. now we have 88 of us. now, i'll skip over her time as
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a broadcaster and all the things she did that senator mikulski talked about, her work in human rights. but i want to just conclude with her brave, brave, brave spirit as she faced multiple mil my my, the bone cancer that ultimately took her life. and i want to do it in this context. i have a good friend now whose name is robin, and her mother is battling the same kind of cancer that geri was battling. and as we know, geri was given four or five years and went on, thank god, for much longer. this woman lives far away from her daughter, robin, and when geri passed, she called her and she said, i need to see you. will you come out and stay with me as i battle this cancer? and -- and robin said, well, what is it, mom, you're doing great? and she said, we just lost geri and she was the one who kept my
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heart and soul together and my spirits up and i knew she was there battling. and now that i've lost her, she said, i've lost her, i don't know, i feel a hole, i'm empty. and that just is the most eloquent thing i could say about geri. now, this woman never met geraldine ferraro in person, but geri had that way about her, that she could reach you as if she was touching you. and it's a tremendous loss, first and foremost for the family, who she adored beyond words, and, secondly, for all the rest of us who just need someone like that out there standing up and being brave and telling it like it is and never giving up. mr. president, i just am so honored that i could be here with my colleagues and i'm proud to yield to senator hutchison for as much time as she may consume. ms. mikulski: the time is allocated as five minutes but i know you want to speak.
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you were a very dear friend and, please, proceed. mrs. hutchison:thank you. thank you, senator mikulski. thank you, senator without sena. thank you, mr. president. i do want to talk about this remarkable woman because i think that, as has been mentioned before, her loss is being felt throughout america for many different reasons. she was a trail blazer and she was one of the great female role models of her generation. i wrote a book in 2004 called "american heroines: the spirited women who shaped our country." and it was to profile the women who were the earliest trail blazers in different fields: education, sports, politics, journalism. mrs. hutchison: and then i interviewed contemporary women who were still breaking barriers in those fields. in the public service chapter, i
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profiled margaret chase smith because she was the longest-serving women elected to the senate in her own right at the time and she was a true trail blazer. i interviewed then sandra day coconnor, our first -- san driveway day o'connor, our first supreme court justice, and geraldine ferraro, our first woman nominee for vice president of a major party. i asked geri ferraro in her -- in my interview with her, what was your most important trait for success? and she said, i think the ability to work hard and if something doesn't work, to learn from the mistake and move on. that's what's happened with my own life. it goes to the personal side, she said, "from watching my mother who moved on after becoming a widow with two kids to support. she was 39 years old. then i watched her move on and do whatever was necessary to get
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the job done of educating her children. i'm exactly the same way. i'll do whatever is necessary to get the job done, whatever it is. then if i do something that doesn't work, i go on to the next goal." i asked her what was her biggest obstacle. she almost laughed. she said, i'm 68. the obstacles in my life have changed with time. an obstacle when i was a kid was being in boarding school, away from my mother, because my father had died. i had no choice. it wasn't like the boarding schools or the prep schools of today. it was in a semi-cloistered convent. it was lonely and i had to work hard. i wanted to go to college but we didn't have the money for college so i knew i had to get top marks in order to get a scholarship. that was my obstacle then. money was always an obstacle, she said. i taught when i went to law school at night because i
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couldn't afford to go during the day. when she applied for law school, she said, "they would say things to her like, geri, are you serious? you're taking a man's place. you know?" and then after getting out of law school, as was mentioned earlier, she was only -- one of only two women in her class, she got out of law school and she was faced with the challenge of trying to get a job. but she said, "i interviewed at five law firms. i was in the top 10% of my cla class." but she didn't get a job offer. well, i related to that because i graduated from law school after her in 1967 and law firms in texas didn't hire women then either. so i know how she felt as she went through obstacle and obstacles and obstacles. but she said, "you know, in the end, each thing was an obstacle
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that i had to get by at the time but i didn't have too many obstacles," because she just picked herself up and kept right on going. she truly was an inspiration and a trail blazer for women of our time. throughout her life, as a public school teacher, as an assistant district attorney, as a congresswoman and candidate for vice president, geri ferraro fought for the causes that were important to her. and when she learned that she had multiple myeloma, a somewhat rare blood disease that is incurable, she drew upon that same fightinsame -- same fighting sp. as she waged the battle with her own disease, geri stepped into the spotlight because she knew that if she talked about it with her high profile, that she could bring help to others. her testimony before congress
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was instrumental in the passage of a bill that senator mikulski, who is on the floor leading this effort today, and i cosponsored together in 2001 and 2002. our legislation gave the research community the tools they need to discover what triggers these deadly blood diseases, to devise better treatments and to work toward a cure. in our bill, barbara and i decided to name "the geraldine ferraro blood cancer education program" for geri ferraro, to raise the awareness and spread the lifesaving information about myeloma, leukemia and other forms of blood cancer. geri ferraro was on the floor of the house when her bill, our bill passed the house of representatives on april 30 of 2002. her daughter was in the gallery with my staffer and there was so much joy in her eyes and her
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demeanor. by then, geri ferraro went about the business of fashioning the education program. she consulted with the doctors at harvard, at dana farber, dr. ken anderson, her doctor, consulted with him because she wanted an interactive web site because she knew that doctors all over the country were searching for information on treatment on this disease because they were so unaware at the time of what you could do to help patients. well, this is personal to me because my brother, allen, also has multiple myeloma, and i got involved in this because i watched him bravely fight like geri ferraro is doing -- was doing. and my brother is a great
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patient. he is -- he's tough like geri, he's fighting like geri and he's doing really well. but we knew how hard it was because we watched allen fight this disease and take many of the same drugs and have the same doctor consultations as geri. so geri and allen knew each other and traded information, and the patients in these blood diseases do that. they reach out, they help each other because they know that it's the person with the experience who knows how you feel when you just don't feel like you can get up in the morning. people like kathy justey, who was also a good friend of geri ferraro's, and ken anderson's. they traded information and it helped all of them to know that they had that kind of support. so she was an inspiration and her dignity and great in
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fighting multiple myeloma will be one of her trademarks in her life, along with the other great trailblazing things that she has done. just last month, the women of the senate pulled together to return the encouragement. we knew that geri was having a hard time and we took a picture of the women of the senate and we all signed it around the edges and we sent it to her and we said, thanks for being our champion, thanks for all you do for the women of our country. and geri was not just a champion for women running for public office ssm she was a -- office. she was a champion for women to succeed in every sector. she took the first powerful swing at the glass ceiling. she won't be here to see the woman president who is sworn into office who will finish the
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breaking of that glass ceiling, but we will all be standing on the shoulders of bette geri fero and that first woman president will be as well. she took the first steps like so many of the early trail blazers in all of the different sectors. the first ones don't see their success, but what they do by showing the dignity and courage and the tenacity and the grace does prepare the way for the next generation or the next woman to move to the next level. and that's what geri ferraro has done for all the women of our country. i will always remember her friendship. i will appreciate her leadership and we will all miss her on a personal level, but we will always remember in the bigger picture what she did for this country. thank you, mr. president. thank you, senator mikulski.
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and i yield the floor. ms. mikulski: i yield the floor to senator snowe. the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. snowe: thank you. i want to thank our senior senator from the state of maryland for organizing this tribute to our dear friend, geraldine ferraro and the eloquent comments from the senator from texas as well. i'm pleased today to be able to join in this tribute with my good friends and colleagues. senator barbara mikulski and senator barbara boxer, as well, of california. and as i look back in our time ace began my service in the u.s. house of representatives, i can't help but think today we're standing here honoring a come paacompatriot at that time, a
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political torch bearer, geraldine ferraro after a brave battle with cancer. as many will hear in this senate many times over, geraldine was a pioneering champion and a dynamic force for women's rights, a colleague of all three of us in the u.s. house of representatives, and always a dear friend through more than three decades. as america's first female vice presidential nominee for a major party, geraldine has forever secured a legendary position along the timeline of american political history as walter mondale selected her as his running mate in the 1984 presidential election. while america was learning about gelgeraldine on the national st,
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as you will recall, senator mikulski and senator boxer knew her as a legislative sister in arms. as we served together in the u.s. house of representatives and geraldine and i were members of the same house freshman class that began service in january of 1979. at that time, unbelievably, brought the total number women serving in the 96 congress to 16. and all four of us, as you'll recall, madam president, fought the myriad causes. most especially those affecting america's women. looking back at that time, i take enormous pride, as i know both senators mikulski and boxer do, we spoke as women first, not as republicans or democrats. that women's issues transcended partisan lines for us. the fact was that we couldn't afford to draw partisan lines for women underrepresented in congress and that drove our agenda, the bipartisan congressional caucus for women's
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issues, which i happened to co-chair for more than 10 years in the house of representatives, along with the co-chair of thing on woman pat schroeder from colorado. our adherence to working together and the ideal of principle over politics became our foundation. we determined if we didn't act, who would. and we started to make a difference for women and not a moment too soon. because there was a time in america where federal laws were systemically working against women, discriminating against women as women were assuming more of a role not only at home, but also in the workplace. and the federal laws did not reflect the dual responsibilities of those roles as women were assuming more and more obligations in the workplace. well, we weren't going to accept the status quo any longer. and certainly geld dean was not -- geraldine was not to count the notion, that's just the way it is. to the contrary, we began to
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confront those disparities, introduced a package of laws known as the women economic equity act that addressed a litany of issues that called for a study of government pay practices, sought to have equal credit for women in business ventures and battled with geraldine who led the effort to end the war on pension, that discovered unbeknownst to them they were left with no pension benefits. they wouldn't be notified until thaifer husband's death -- after their husband's death that without their knowledge that it had been canceled prior to their death. a group of women legislators, not come priced -- no one pressed for remedys to right these wrongs with more skill than geraldine ferraro. she was a bulwark against
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injustice and a cherished champion for fairness in america where women were increasing their roles in american life and their presence in the u.s. workplace and the economy. on a personal note i can't help but think part of our mutual bond is that which i came from similar backgrounds much our families immigrated to this great land. our heritages spoke to the american dream where anything is possible and the only limiting out of those that you place on yourself. indeed "the new york times" mentions how geraldine's mother crocheted beads to send her to the best schools. my mother worked in the textile mills to sen sure that my sus -- to ensure that my cousins and i received a good education. we shared a determination to make a lasting difference for women and working families and a
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focus that surrounded politics and party be labels. more than 30 years later geraldine's legacy lives on through the 74 women serving the other body today compared to the 16 when we first entered the u.s. house of representatives. -- u.s. house of representatives where the presiding officer was serving in the u.s. house of representatives even before our time in 1978 as well as the 17 women who are now in the united states senate. in fact, back in 1979, there was only one woman serving in the united states senate at that time. in closing, i can't help but recall the great lady aster who served in the british house of parliament. she took her seat in that distinguished body, a member of parliament turned to her and said, welcome to the most exclusive men's club in europe. demonstrating the poxy truly a hallmark of geraldine ferraro,
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she responded, it wouldn't be exclusive for long. when i came in, i left the door wide open. that's precisely what geraldine ferraro did. she articulated that it's not enough to break old barriers and chart a new course, you have tone sure that others are able to traverse it as well. geraldine spent a lifetime making certain that the path she helped pave was available and accessible to every woman with the courage and will to travel. and so today it's a privilege for me to extol this remarkable woman whose indelible imprint on the public and policy arenas will be felt for generations to come. our thoughts and prayers remain with her husband of 50 years as well as her chain and her eight -- children and eight grandchildren. i well recall our many conversation that's we had in
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our early service in the house of representatives and how she adored her husband and family. also a reminder that she was very much a woman ahead of her time having a legal profession, raising a family, and then entering the political arena and then making sure those doors were thrown open for all women in america fighting for the discriminatory practices that were, you know, prevalent at the time in the workplace and certainly even in federal law. and i always like to point out to younger generation of women that it wasn't so long ago that there were so many federal laws in place that served as bearsiers and impediments to growth in the workplace, growth in education, and the ability to compete on an equal level. geraldine helped to serve to break those barriers without question and left a remarkable legacy that will resonate for generations. so, madam president, thank you, for offering us this opportunity
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to pay tribute and to honor this woman who always forever have a place in history, one with whom she shared fortunately a friendship and memories that will last a lifetime. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: madam president, i know we are about to close the senate, but i wanted to take a minute or two to add my voice to all of the women in the senate to have been here today and thank you for your leadership in encouraging us to honor geraldine pe ferraro. i remember being on the floor of the 1984 democratic convention when she gave her speech for vice president of the united states. and the -- it was electric, listening to her epitomized for me and i'm sure for every woman
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there the fact that women could do anything. and geraldine ferraro worked tirelessly on behalf of women's rights and human rights around the globe. she dedicated her ideals to respect and equality and she lived a career that called all women to challenge the glass ceilings of the world. just because one woman breaks the glass ceiling, it doesn't mean that opportunities are open to every woman. and she understood that and continued to encourage all of the ceilings across the world be broken for women. her life was a powerful example for all of us here who are honoring her today and for our daughters and granddaughters. we thank her for leading the way. she will be missed. thank you, madam president.
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the presiding officer: the senate now stands in recess until reports say those overruns have grown top $300 billion. c-span3 will have live coverage at 2:30 eastern.
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>> former pennsylvania senator rick santorum is in new hampshire today as he continues exploring a run for the republican nomination for president. we recently talked with him about why he is on the campaign trail and what his goals are. it is part of our road to the white house series of interviews with likely presidential candidates. it is about 50 minutes. >> host: rick santorum. when did you begin to think about running for president? >> guest: it is a process. continues to be a process. i was just out in 2009, i just felt the need to get out there and mix it up with the advent of obamacare in particular coming down the
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pike. what i saw what was happening in washington, d.c. that i just couldn't sit on the sidelines anymore. i had to get out there and engage and it sort of obviously not a tea party guy but i sort of, same motivation as a lot of the tea party people went out there. i felt like this was a tippingpoint that obamacare, if the government took over the health care system, america as we knew it, as i was given it, my grandfather and father came to this country, that, that place would no longer exist. so i just went out and started talking and working on campaigns and helping people around the country and trying to stir people up and provide a message. i got a lot of feedback saying hey, you should think about doing this again. running for something. and, just again, kept walking down the path. i found out by the way when i went to iowa, we had been in 20 some states, but when i went to iowa, c-span
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actually covered my speech. other folks started to pay attention. they said, oh, you're running for president? no, i'm just going around the states to help out. you're in iowa, you must be running for president. so in some respects, i kept going back to iowa and new hampshire and south carolina. every time i did i got covered. that is what i wanted to do. i wanted to be heard. when i did that, i was encouraged by people in those states to start thinking about it. and that is sort of how this all happens. really, by, by accident. >> host: you were quick to point out not a tea party guy. explain what you mean. >> guest: i love the tea party. i'm not claiming mantle of the tea party. tea party folks by and large not really been active in politics in the past and sort of were brought out because of what is going on in washington, d.c. so i am very sympathetic with what they're doing. i think they have done a great service to the country. i was just sort of aligning
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my motivations going out there and re-engaging as opposed to engaging. re-engaging was because of what they were excited about. >> host: so if you run, why do you want-to-be president? >> guest: well, i believe, as i said before, our country is at a tippingpoint and that we, not just economically but culturally as well as we've seen recently from a national security point of view. and i think we need someone who believes in america and america first principles and has a record to, that demonstrates i have the courage of my convictions to go out and fight for those principles. to fight for limited government. to fight for a government that believes that we are a great country because of our people. and our people are free and free people individually, and then, collectively, have created the greatest country in history, not a powerful washington group of people
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who can plan the course of america. that is not how america became great. it didn't become great because of things done here in washington, d.c. they came here because the people in washington, d.c. believed, originally, that our country would be great if free people were given the ability to pursue their dreams, do what god's call on their life was, and they would have a better country, we would be our brothers keepers. we would create the great society from the bottom up and we did. and now we have a group of people who believe that we can perfect it by doing it from the top down. and i disagree with that and i believe that we need someone who can paint a vision as to what america can be going forward and it's not control and power here in washington, d.c. it's going back to those principles that made us great. >> host: so what is the state of the union today? what is the state of america? >> guest: i think we're at, as i said, a turning point. i say it all the time that the first thing that needs
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to be done in 2013 and fortunately, it may get done by the courts before then is to repeal obamacare. we need to begin the process of backing off the federal government of creating this society again that believes in people, instead of government. believes in freedom and the opportunity to succeed greatly and to even fail greatly. that dynamic, that destructive and constructive capitalism, is what has improved the overall quality of life for americans and changed the world. >> host: let me ask you about two points of the president's health care bill, this past week being the anniversary. department of health and human services pointing out if you are out of college and you have some children in college or heading to college they get back in the workforce, they can stay on your plan until the age of 26. is that a good thing? >> most states had provisions like that. to me that is something that the federal government
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doesn't need to do. if it is a good idea, states can implement that and put that in place. again, if you look at a lot of the things the federal government sticks their nose in, frankly things they don't need to stick their nose in. these areas, according to the constitution were really left it the states to do. if the states think this is good idea, insurance as you know is regulated state by state, then the states can go ahead and do that. if people like that idea. so we don't need a federal government plan. if you look at the, you know, thousands of pages of bills in the obamacare bill, it is one small part that happens to be popular. well, if it is popular it will get passed in other states. we don't need to do it here. certainly not justification for a government takeover of the health care system and mandating that everybody has to be covered, what they're covered with, the minimum plan. i was just in south carolina. i was talking to a insurance company there and told me almost 80% of the plans they offer, would have to be, the benefits would be increased under obamacare so driving
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up costs to everyone. why? because the federal government says this is the insurance policy you have to have at a minimum which means you have to pay more. there is no customization, or individualization, or personalization. all again smart people in washington think they can plan better than you can actually decide for yourself. that is just the wrong approach. >> host: the white house argument is you don't have health insurance your emergency room becomes the primary care physician. >> guest: that certainly hasn't been the case in massachusetts where they instituted individual mandate. required everybody to covered, guess what happened? emergency room visits went up. didn't go down. utilization went up, didn't go down. guess what? you give people access who to free health care, they're going to end up using it just as inefficiently as they used it before. that's why you can't have the government just sort of say, here's what we're going to give you. you have to have a system in place that engages the individual, makes them have skin in the game, a stake in the fame. i think it is vitally
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important we do have health insurance coverage for everybody but we have to do it in a way that engages the individual so they have some interest in financial interest, in the health care that they're consuming. if not, we're going to get misallocation of resources. we're going to get overutilization and this bill scheduled to cost over $2 trillion the first 10 years it is implemented will be a fraction of that. it will be much more than that. unless we do something to bring people involved. and again it's, these group of people in washington led by president obama believes they are smart enough to tell you everything you need to do and how to do it, as opposed to saying nope, we'll trust individuals. he has obamacare. the program that i'm advocate something called you care truly centered around around you, not him. >> host: what is your view of mitt romney's health care plan that he signed into law as governor of massachusetts? >> guest: he had the right to do that. the states, i don't believe president obama's bill is
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constitutional. i don't think he had the right to, federal government has the right to tell individuals what they can and can't buy anymore than i can force you to buy that suit. that's, so i do believe that's wrong. the states, on the other hand, under the u.s. constitution have right to do it. their state constitution may not allow them but federal constitution does. so he had the right to do it. it was not the right thing to do. and, you know, individual mandates and a prescriptive top-down from the state down policy as to how the program is going to run. what you're seeing is the program is not working well. people who are joining in the ranks of the insured are doing it through the medicaid program, not through the private sector insurance. private sector insurance as you saw governor patrick tried to put a cap, in fact freeze any kind of premium increases. they're driving up costs and they're going to say to the insurance companies you can't charge anymore even though costs are going up. this is this heavy prescriptive idea that
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people can't work this out. that government has to do it. it's not the right approach to take. >> host: will it be an issue in the republican primary? >> guest: i believe as you heard i believe obamacare is the most important issue in domestic policy issues not just health care. as i mentioned, not just size and scope of government but also i think has huge impact on our economy and sword of damacles with taxes and regulations and mandates coming down the pike, i'm sure, in fact i've heard from businesses is creating that level of uncertainty that is freezing businesses and hiring people. one of the reasons we're not seeing the rebound that we would like to see, i believe is obamacare out there. some it will be a big issue. >> host: what about governor romney's plan though? will it be an issue in the republican primary? >> guest: certainly you need to have someone out there who believes in you-care, not, romney-care, the governor, telling everybody what kind of care they're going to have or obama, the president, telling everybody what kind of care they're
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going to have but in fact a system that allows a market that is focused on you and that you design the kind of health care that you want. >> host: you served two terms in the house of representatives, two terms in the senate and "the new york times" described you in the 1990s this way, a fast-rising gop star. my question is, did you view yourself as a fast-rising star? >> guest: no because usually fast-rising stars tend to burn out and fade. so i sort of saw myself as someone who was there, had a purpose for being there. engaged in the issues. really across the board. i mean that is one of the things i felt privilege represent a diverse state like pennsylvania and being in the united states senate you had a range of experiences and range of people had interest in things. and so i was always, it was always interesting that people would bring me lots of great ideas and have lots of opportunity to talk about those ideas here in d.c., whether it was national
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security issues, some major pieces of legislation i worked on. i worked on agriculture policy from pennsylvania. i worked on, social welfare policies there probably wasn't a bill that passed in the 12 years i was in the senate that had to do with dealing with the poor i wasn't heavily involved in one way or the other. so, again, the diversity of my state sort of opened up a big field of issues for me to be able to work on, that people in my state were interested in. and i looked at that as really what my job was. keep plugging away. not worried about your star rising. just worried about trying to do the job and i look back and pretty long record of accomplishments that we were able to get done on a bipartisan basis were implementation of conservative ideas consistent with the principles i advocated. >> host: we're not far from washington in richburg, virginia. how did you get in the pennsylvania area? >> guest: my parents met
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working for veterans administration after the war. they got married in the mid '50s. they were living in martinsburg, west virgina, when they met. closest hospital, my mother was almost 40 when i was born. they need ad fuller service hospital because that was considered, you know old to have children back then. and so we went, i was born in winchester. my parents moved to suburban pittsburgh, butler, pennsylvania, when i was seven years old and spent most of my youth there, next 10 years. went to illinois. graduated from college, excuse me, high school in illinois because my parents were transferred with the va i always said i grew up on public housing because we always lived on va grounds. we lived on the post and lived in apartments. it was great atmosphere to live, to grow up there. had a lot of interactions with our veterans and came to have a great amount of respect for our military and for those who served and as my parents did, obviously
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working there then i went to penn state. came back to pennsylvania. pretty much stayed ever since. >> host: before running for the house, what were you doing? >> guest: i was practicing law in pittsburgh. i got out of college and graduate school i had an mba from the university of pittsburgh. i went to work for a state senator, someone who i met at penn state and was his chief of staff for five years. then during the last three of those five years i went to law school and graduated from law school and decided i wanted to come back home to pittsburgh. you know, sort of plant some roots down there. and, ended up practicing law for a few years, just felt like, one of those things where, again, not a plan, not, this is what i wanted to do, but i was not happy with the congressman that was representing me. so i decided to run against him. >> host: who did you challenge? >> guest: doug melbourne was his name. he was a 14-year incumbent congressman.
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chairman of the subcommittee on the energy and commerce committee. had never, since his first race gotten less than 60% of the vote. so it was not a nomination was hard to fight for. not too many people were interested in running in 1990 against him and, so i put my name on the ballot. it was a poll taken six months before the election and my name recognition in the district was 6%. i was told by my polester, go back to work because you're not going to win this race. i was outspent three to one. heavily democratic district. it was a bad election year. it was midterm bush 41. . . 41. the top of the ticket was bob kasich and i was second on the ballot. in some respects i look at that race and it was more of a m. l than anything else.
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i knew that potentially my days were numbered. because in 1992, as we're going through right now, in years ending with 2, is a redistricting year. pen not lost two dog congressional seats. i was told by both my colleagues in the statehouse and senate, that i was going to be one of those two seats, and indeed i was. my home was put into a district that was well over 70% democratic in registration against a 20 or 22-year democraticat incumbent who eventually decided that he wasn't up for the challenge of running against me for some reason, and ended up winning that race. again, not a great election year. bill clinton was elected president, clinton won myon m district, in fact, george bush only got 29% of my district. but i was able to win andwas decided to turn that into a senate race in the 1994. >> host: we have elected
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presidents who have been in the senate, we've elected presidents who have been governor. you've not had any executive h experience. should that be a requirement to serve as president? >> guest: oh, i don't think it should be a requirement. i would argue we've had folksexe who didn't have any ec tiff experience and just had legislative experience, guys like abraham lincoln.ln they did a pretty good job in i taking on that responsibility. you just have to look at the person, their leadershipn, qualities, their character, their ability to paint a vision for the country and lead and articulate that vision.e so you have to look at the people that you're surrounded with, you know, the history of that person and their ability to be able to work across theashi aisle. in washington, d.c. it's highly unlikely you're going to have a situation like barack obama had with supermajorities in the house and senate and be able to do things with one party. and, you know, look at my time in the senate.e we got a lot of things done and
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was able to take leadership. i don't think anybody would have called me a squish on the issues when i was in the senate. i was sort of known was known as a fire brain conservative, but we got things done. >> is there one thing that you are particularly proud of in the senate or the house? >> i think of all the things i worked on, the welfare reform bill that passed, i had as much of an imprint on that bill as a lot of people had imprints on that. i am taking credit for offering it. i am taking credit for a lot of things in there and the shape of it. i was in the house on the ways and means committee, and happened to be the ranking member of the resources subcommittee in 19 the 3 and 1994. i was asked by the leader and gingrich to draft a welfare reform bill. so i chaired that process. and coming up with what was the contract for america, welfare reform bill, it was our work
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product, my work product. then when i came to the senate, here aim a freshman member. welfare is a big issue. i worked with the chairman of the finance committee. both john ash croft and judd greg helped put the senate bill together. it turned out before the welfare bill was to come onto the floor, the chairman of the senate, bob packwood, resigned. so we ended up with a new chair that didn't understand the bill so well, and in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. so i went to bob dole and said i would like to be involved in managing it. he said, well just get up there. you get up there and start talking and you know what you are talking about, and people will give you wr room. and in fact they d i ended up sitting in the chair for sometime and managing the debate
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and working with democrats as well as the administration. democrats in the senate as well as the administration in the house and putting together the final package. >> you lost your re-election bid for a third term. why did you lose? >> a lot of reasons. it was a bad election year. a lot of folks lost in 2006. it was a bad election year particularly in pennsylvania. we lost over six seats. our gubetorle candidate lost. we had a raft of scandals in pennsylvania. not related to me, but to two members of congress. one that had been out there for a while, and another occurred just two weeks before the election where a member of congress -- i think his office or his daughter's office was raided by the f.b.i. so with all that was going on in washington, with the scandal there, it made republicans a bad brand. there are things i did. look, i wasn't shy about
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standing up and taking on the issues i cared about, whether it was national security or the abortion issue. i was the leader on a lot of those issues. it was very devicive. marriage issue which was particularly devicive. i touched the third rails of politics on social issues as well as sshtskrt. social security. in 2005, i ran to the ramparts and was out there on the floor of the senate and pennsylvania. a whole series of town meetings on how we had to fix social security. pen espn the second old -- pennsylvania -- that effort did not work out. there are other things that went on. i was in the republican leadership. i think when i got elected the first couple times, i was seen as non someone who was out there sort of shaking up -- shaking things up.
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i make the argument, i continue to do so in leadership, but now i was part of the leadership. you are part of them as opposed to seen as outside that. so that and probably more. sort of create an environment which was not good in an election year where the president was sitting at the mid 30's in popularity in pennsylvania. >> as you know, often you learn more from losing than winning. did you learn anything? >> yeah, well i learned a lot of things. first off, i would say the most important lesson is that losing wasn't the most important thing that happened to you. not standing up and doing what is right is the worst thing that can happen to you. while i don't like losing, i can say pretty clear, i never looked back. i never felt bad. i wasn't sad at all. i could see on election night when i found out, the only thing i want to do on election night, and i feel this way every time i go back to pennsylvania, is to
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get up and say thank you. thank you for giving the son of an italian immigrant who had zero name recognition when he first ran for office and was able to go out and take on the issues that i felt were important for the country. and the people of pennsylvania supported me. i just wanted to go out there and say thank you. and that's what i do. every time i go out i say thank you for giving me this incredible blessing. the second big blessing was i always thought pennsylvaniaians gave me not what i always wanted but what i needed. i was 48 years old. i had been in congress for 16 years. at the time we had six children we were raising, and i needed to get home. and it was a great blessing to me to be there over the last four years at a time when my children were going through some
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of the very important formative years. i'm not beating myself up too much as being a dad during my senate years but it was a busy, busy time, and it was always squeezing it n now i was able to coach little league and do the things that you really -- you should do as a partner, as a panchte, as a father. -- as a partner, as a parent, as a father. that was an important lesson for me and as a father. >> let me ask you about your state. you have been vocal when your catholicism. what does it mean to be a public official and also catholic? >> you know america is, based op the cop concept, madison called it the perfect remedy. the concept that people of faith and no faith are welcome into the public square to extoll their points of view, whether they are motivated by faith or not. whether justified by faith or
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not. they have the right to come and to articulate that. i believe that's why we get along so well here in america. i grew up in western pennsylvania. there were a lot of serbs and croatians there. i never knew that serbs and croatians didn't get along, because the ones i knew did. so this idea of division was foreign to me. why? because we welcomed everybody in. that's how i see faith. faith needs to be welcomed back into the public square. i am very forthright about my faith in that it did help -- it did form my conscience. it had a huge influence in forming my conscience and has an influence on how i see the world. i am very up-front about that. the reason is because it is true. i think you see a lot of politicians, well, i -- do they
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really? if that's the case, what does motivate you? what does inform your conscience? what moral view are you reflecting when you come into the public arena? i think there is some disingenuousness about it. i think this is something you learn more from losing than winning. i think the public has a right to know who you are, why you think the way you do, and no guessing game as to what he is going to do on this or that or the other. you know. not to say there aren't nuances and you can look at my record and see lots of times where, you know, depending on the bill and the certain situations you have to use judgment. there is no, you know, the teachings of your faith or reason don't always come to, you know, the same conclusion because of the facts and circumstances being different. having said that, how you approach an issue and your foundational prins principles, i
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think it is important for people to be transparent about that, and i am. . >> was jefferson saying to the baptists who wrote him saying we're concerned about the
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government interfering with religion. the government can't do that. well, kennedy turned it on its head and said that religion can't impact government. well, that was never the intention of jefferson. it was of clearly not his intention. it's not the intention of madison who said, you know, the perfect remedy.t so kennedy initiated a trend in this country that wastiat exacerbated by, you know, the thinking in the '60s and the '70s that faith has no right' has no right to claim truth in the public square, that anything motivated by faith is de facto banned from the public discourse. our founders would be spinning in their grave if they understood that, that that's how their words were twisted. the fact of the matter is everyone's in. faith, no faith, whatever your faith.
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reason, clearly.w i'm, you know, as a catholic i subscribe to john paul's faith in reason this that it's twod re wings. it's the wings of both faith and reason that allow you to fly, and it's not just saying, well, my faith says in this, but if it's true, then you can arrivewl there through right reason as well as you can by faith. so i applied both in my, in myth looking at these issues, and it's, again, i think that's i important for folks who are in public life who are asking ortet potentially asking to lead. well, who are you and why do you believe what you believe? >> host: there is a one issue tt intersects religion and politice many which bishops do not want to serve communion to catholic public firms who support -- officials who support abortion rights. do you have an opinion on that? >> guest: i think that's a
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decision of the church. i'm a catholic in public life, not aleryman. clergyman. and my feeling is that that's ah private discussion between -- i would hope it would be a private discussion between the bishop and the commune cant, and i'd leave it at that, and i'd trust the bishops to handle those things and politicians to stay out of them. >> host: what shaped your views on abortion? >> guest: interestingly enough, i always say the seed was wer planted by my parents who were very pro-life. but it really was when i decided to run for congress, i was i somewhat ambivalent eleven on this issue. -- ambivalent on this issue. i grew up in the '60s and '70s and had lots of friends who had very different opinions on that issue, and it was one o9 those things that i'd sort of stayed away from, never really took that much of a position. i sort of was, you know, agnostic. i was uncomfortable with it.
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like i think most americans are. boy, they don't like it, but at the same time we want to, you know, ban it.sue. it's a tough issue. and i was, at the time, dating my wife whose father was a geneticist. and he, i saw that as an opportunity to really try to get, you know, a real understanding of what was, what were the facts, try to gohrou through the science on this and trying to use reason.able and i did. it was inescapable to me that cn the child in the womb is a child at the moment of conception. that was just a biological fact, and that we were then going to be treating some people differently than others simply because they happened to be in the womb as opposed to outside of the womb. i just found a moral inconsistency with that, an inconsistency that as i've talked about now somewhatnths famously over the last few
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months that it just immediately, you know, brought me back to thh dread scott decision -- dred scott decision where we looked e at people and said even though they're human beings, we're not going to treat them with the same rights under the constitution. and i just couldn't, i couldn't sustain that from an argument point of view. i mean, it was not an issue and, certainly, when i was running for congress, i mean, there was -- the guy i was runningoice against was pro-choice. i don't know whether it would been a good thing or a bad thing, but i just felt like that's where i was and that's where i had to go. >> host: would you overturn roe v. wade?gr >> guest: absolutely. i think it was one of the greatest abominations in jurisprudence in the history of the court. >> host: why? >> guest: because it creates a legal fiction that a human being is not a person simply because it happens to be in a particulae
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place. and we do that. the rationale that we're seeing actually play out in courtth decisions is that, well, if, yoi know, we saw it in the partial-birth abortion case which i was heavily involved in. that if a child in the womb can be killed, well, how about a h child almost in theow womb? and i remember having this long debate with barbara boxer on the floor of the senate during the partial-birth abortion debate, and i said what if child's foot is all that's left in the mother, can you kill the child?0 and she spent 20 minuteser refusing to answer that question. thi and eventually she said, well, no, you can't. and i said, well, you know, what if only the toe is left in? and so she just, all of these is irrelevant. i said, no, this is exactly thee point. the court says it's based on where the child is. not who the child is, but where the child is as to whether the child has rights. so i think that's a legal
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fiction that is dehumanizing. and when we see that now being applied to those on the margins of life, those who are in, you know, chronically ill states or those who are children who are born who have, you know, small chances of survival and having gone through that in my own life with karen and i, our last child, isabella, we faced all these things. and i can tell you that it is, it's been a tough journey, but it's one i would never have passed up on to accept life and take whatever god gives you. >> host: how did you meet your wife?the >> guest: i met her at the law firm. i was, my job, she had been offered a summer associate position at the firm. i didn't know her and didn't know about the offer but wasd asked by a friend who couldn'tdo make the recruiting trip toat h convince her to say yes. they were going to take her out for drinks and dinner to encourage her to say yes to the offer. and my office mate was the one
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who was supposed to take her, and she got busy. she pleaded with me repeatedly. i kept saying, no, and she pleaded said, please, please, you've got to do this. i said, okay, finally, i'll do it as a favor to you. the rest is history. >> host: married how many yearsy >> guest: it'll be 21 years in the june. >> host: you s have eight children, seven living. you lost a son, gabriel. what happened? >> guest: that was in the fall of 1996. we had just been through, i had just been through -- and karen, too, because she went through it this. e the first time i'd ever spoken on the floor of the senate on the issue of abortion. it was on this issue of partial-birth abortion. and it moved me when i found out aboutou this. like i said, i had made the conscious decision not to sticko your head out of the foxhole on these issues because when you do, you get painted into a picture. i mean, i always joke that my kids for years thought my first
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name was ultra because once youn once you do something like that, you're painted as an ultra conservative because you daredke to go out and talk about issues like life and abortion andthat marriage and things like that which are sort of taboo in the mainstream media.ad d and so i kept my head down. but i saw this happen, and i saw this procedure, and i saw theul fact that the president would veto a bill like that. and i just felt like i had to get out there and do something. so by a quirk of circumstances,l the man whose bill it was, bob smith, was up for re-election in new hampshire six weeks before, six weeks after this debate was to occur in late september of '96. and he didn't want to be involved in a contentiousre h pro-life battle right before his election in new hampshire. and so he was looking for someone to take over, and iybod think everybody stepped back, and i was standing there. but i took the reins, and thatat
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was, you know, a time when i wag out fighting to ban a procedure that was used late in pregnancy when the pregnancy had gone awry. there was something wrong with c the child.ever and i'll never forget, on a couple of occasions -- once wit dianne feinstein, another with barbara boxer -- talking about, you know, the fact that karen was pregnant.not and while i didn't know whether this child was going to be well or d not, you know, it was still my son or daughter, and i was going to love him no matter what the case was. a week later we had a sonogram, and can the radiologist saidand your son has a fatal defect and is going to die. and, you know, we needed to talk about the world crashing down on you. obviously, we were heartbroken, we were angry. i was particularly angry in the sense that i felt like, gee, here i am out there fighting for all these little kids, and this
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is, you know, this is the thanke i get, if you will, from god. and so i, i did -- we did whatwk we felt was necessary which was we fought for the life of our child. another coincidence, i happened to meet a doctor at the children's hospital in philly just a few weeks before that and was up there and learned about procedures they were doing to actually do surgery in utero. and this was a fetal defect, if you will, that i thought, well, might be able to be repaired and could save his life. and we went up there and, in fact, there was something we could do. we had that procedure done at the university of pennsylvania up in philadelphia, and it was successful. but as a result of thedure procedure, karen got anon i infection in the womb, and i remember karen saying, well, give me some antibiotics. the problem is it's in her womb which there's that wall that doesn't allow the drug to pass.
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the body would ec pell the infection -- expel the infection, and little gabriel michael was born in pittsburgh in october, october 11, 19 t 6, and he lived two hours. i always say that what a great g blessing to have a life where he only knew love, and he did. he was with us for those two hours, and we celebrated his life, as short as it was, and wu made sure that his brothers and sisters, you know, saw him, knew that he was real and had the closure that we thought was necessary for them. karen had been a neonatal intensive care nurse for many years, and one of the things she learned was the importance of recognizing the child, thend humanity of that child and for the family to recognize that humanity ask to grieve and to recognize, you know, the loss. and i can say that with respectr to our children who went through that, gabriel is seen as a great
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something that a o little angel in heaven, if you will, to help in times of stress. and that there was that closure, and it's been a, you know, god'o been good. he's actually turned gabriel's life -- karen ended up writing a book about what we went throughl called "letters to gabriel," because she kept a diary through this whole process.0 co that little book sold 25,000 copies, and there isn't a week that goes by where i'm not out onam the stump somewhere and someone doesn't walk up to me and said, you know, i've read your wife's book, and it just helped me so much through the grieving process of losing a child. so i always say to my kids if they could have as much impact on the world for good as their little brother did in two hours, they'd be doing well. >> host: your other children, oldest is 19 and the youngest is 2, a special needs child. >> guest: yeah, isabella. she's another miracle. in some respects i consider gabriel a miracle, what's
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happened as a result of his life. and bella's another one. karen was pregnant, and, you know, we weren't just doing the prenatal testing because of sonogram machines, and they said, you know, there's something not quite right, butge we can't sort of figure it out. so when little bella was delivered at 35 weeks, you know, they, you know, had her broughtr to theou nicu to see what was wrong, and they weren't sure.t they had to do some genetic testing, and it was four days later we found out that she had a condition where you have 23. chromosome pairs, 22 plus your sex chromosomes, x and y. and can you get one each from the mom and one from the dad. well, in this case you get two,
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and that could cause severe birth defects. in fact, in most cases child dies one, two, three of those, and only on some can they survive.ome the most common is 21 which is downs syndrome. 18 has a much lower survival rate. we were told, we were on the internet as fast as you can imagine and found the statistics, as chilling as theye were, that bella was lucky that she was born alive because 90% of the children with thiscann disorder don't survive birth. and then the grim statistics which were that of the 10% thate do survive, 90% die in the first year, most within the first few months.in and so she was, we were told to have, obviously, very low expectations. and when she was sent home after ten days, she was sent home on hospice care. we were, we were told to prepare for her to die.to m
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and to my wife's credit, she never accepted that. she immediately planning on her trip home signed up for pediatric visits, and we were going to do everything we can to give bella the best lifes possible as long as god was going to give her to us. and that's what happened. we, for a long time the kids, when she came home, they put a big sign up welcoming her home, and then started every week we would have a birthday celebration because we thought, you know, we're not going to have years, we're going to havey weeks. so every week we had a birthday party. and then it got to the point poi where we were at a month, and then we decided, well, we'll do every month. so we had birthday parties every month. and now she is, she's going to be 3 years old in may, and we've gone through a lot.
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but she is, she's been a great blessing to us. she, i always say that bellatter makes us better. she just, her humanity, gift of love that she is. in the eyes of the world, she can't do a lot. she can't feed herself. she doesn't talk. she makes noises to us. she may not ever with be able to talk or walk. but she can love. and she is infectious in our family. she's a great gift.y to >> host: there's no easy way to go from that to my next question, but in our few remaining minutes as you think about this presidential campaign, how do you get the nomination? what's your strategy? s>> j >> guest: to just put one foot in front of the other, and i feel like, you know, i feel like
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this is a situation where i had no intention of doing this in the first place, and things hava just sort of happened, and if this is, you know, what's supposed to happen, then youen, just go out there, and you taket 'em one at a time. i mean, i don't know of any other way to do it. bill graham's strategy. you go out to iowa, and you see whether, how well you can do there. then you go to new hampshire, and you see -- so there's no wonderful strategy here as to, you know, you're picking this w state and do well here and do well this. my feeling is that if you're going to do this, then go outrys and compete in every state because every state brings something a little different, and i would make the argument are elements of the party and elements of infence because a lot of -- independence because a lot of these states independents can vote. you're going to have to appeals. to midwesterners and new englanders in these first few states. i'm not interested in, you knowe developing a strategy to win the
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primary and not be in a position to win the general. i want to be able to go oute ha there and say, you know what? we've done well everywhere.stro and, you know, that's a good,l n strong basis for us to be successful and make the case. so the strategy is work hard, and that was something my dad who, as i mentioned before, camo here with my grandfather. he grew up in a company town, a coal mining town in westerne on pennsylvania. and, you know, he just, the one thing he just hammered home to. me, you know, was hard work. there's no substitute for hardth work. i think that's the case here. some people are going to have more money, and some people are going to have more name recognition, but hard work is really the key to success in america, and, you know, we decided to pull the trigger on this thing. there may be people who outspend us, people with better name recognition and better media attention, but no one's going to outwork us. and that goes for karen and thed
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family. we decide to do this, there'swa only one way to do it. and so that's the strategy. >> host: so where are you in the process? >> guest: um, you know, we're getting to the point where we gi have to start to make some decisions here, and i feel comfortable that the message and the messenger are getting some out there in these early primary states.tion the big question for me is the impact on my family and how i can, you know, balance those to interests which is not an easy thing to do. and, number two, whether the resources are going to be there to be able to make this a successful effort. and that's sort of the stage i'm in right now is trying to work through that. so once i have a little time to get a sense of how that is, thel we'll end up making the decisioh one way or the other.>> >> host: and finally, how do you assess this republican field with the names that have been mentioned over the last few month is? >> guest: look, i'm more
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impressed than i was in 2008. in 2008 we had folks who were good on certain issues, but not someone who was really the whole package across the board from the conservative point of view. i mean, there were some who were close, but not, not someone whoc had a long, consistent record of conservative activism across the board on all the issues that people care about. i think we have, we have more, a better reflection of the party in this, many this group -- in this group than in 2008. but, obviously, if i felt like there was someone who was really, really good, i wouldn't be thinking of doing this. so i felt like, feel like with both my experience and my track record and my willingness to take on the tough issues, my ability to go out andssue communicate those issues in ammn way that was compelling in a state like pennsylvania and, you know, a state like pennsylvania and actually easier states than
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pennsylvania that we have to win to win the presidency, you know, it's important to have someone who t can do all those things. be a good communicator, be someone with the courage of their convictions and rock solid convictions and paint that vision for the future of our country. you know, we have some folks out there that i like and i'm impressed with, and i think fol it'll be an interesting primarye if i decide to get into it.ntor >> host: senator rick santorum, thank you for your time. >> guest: thank you, mr. scully. it's always great to be with a fellow pennsylvanian. >> host: thank you. >> a senate subcommittee is looking today into defense department cost overruns on weapon withs development. reports say those overruns have grown to $300 billion. c-span3 will have live coverage at 2:30 p.m. eastern.
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ishmael reed is on in depth live sunday april 3rd. known for his satirical approach to american culture, he's written over 25 books including "another day at the front," and "barack obama and the jim you media." join our three-hour presentation sunday, april 3rd, at noon eastern on c-span2. and watch previous "in depth" programs at c-span.org where you can also find the entire weekend schedule. the c-span networks, we provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books and american history. it's all available to you on television, radio, online and on social media networking sites. and find our content anytime through c-span's video library. and we take c-span on the road with our digital bus and local content vehicle. bringing our resources to your community, it's washington your way. the c-span networks now available in more than 100
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million homes. created by cable, provided as a public service. >> negotiations are underway on capitol hill over federal spending for the rest of this budget year. temporary spending authority expires april 8th, and unless congress approves more funds, government agencies can't operate. new york democrat charles schumer spoke on the senate floor in this morning saying they were close to a deal when house republican leaders backed out. his comments, followed by reaction from republican jeff sessions, last about half an hour. >> thank you, madam president. and i rise to speak on the current state of the bipartisan budget negotiations. for weeks now the offices of the senate majority leader, the house speaker and the whiteuse house have been engaged in serious talks seeking a a long-term budget agreement. it's been a long, hard process, there have been a lot of fits and starts in the negotiations. but it's no exaggeration to say that as of last week talks were on a smooth path toward a a
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compromise. the speaker's office was negotiating in good faith, the parties significantly narrowed the $51 billion gap on how much spending should be cut. house republican leaders had agreed to come down from h.r. 1 and meet us halfway. we could begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. but suddenly at the end of last week, the house republicans did a strange thing. they pulled back from the talks. they changed their minds about what level of spending cuts they could accept. we were right on the verge of af potential breakthrough, and they suddenly moved the goalposts. we felt a little bit like we were left at the altar.he and not only did they abandon the talks, they started denying that they were ever close to a deal in the first place. majority leader cantor issued a statement friday saying that reports that progress were being made were farfetched.
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it was like they decided that even the appearance of a looming compromise was a political liability. it was surreal. it's no surprise what happened. the headline of today's story in national journal says it all.t quote, with revolt brewing, gop backs off deal. let me repeat that because that is really what's going on here in the news of the day and the last few days. with revolt brewing, said the headline, gop backs off deal. the story reads, quote, concerned about a revolt by conservative tea party wing of w the party, gop leaders have pulled back from a tentative deal to cut roughly $30 billion in cuts from current spending levels. the influence that tea party par conservatives now exercise over the process put the chances of a compromise seriously in doubt.
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the story continues. madam president, quote, the gopp pulled back from that agreement last week after majority leader eric cantor and majority whip kevin mccarthy warned house kev speaker john boehner that thepek deal would trigger a revolt from tea party conservatives. so in other words, as soon as house republican leaders took one step towards compromise, the tea party rebelled, so they tooe two steps back. bac the national journal's story describes an offer that was put on the table by the white house that would have met the housey republicans halfway. the offer falls squarely in theu ballpark of congressman ryan's original budget proposal. b with roughly $70 billion in in spending cuts compared to the president's budget request. req this is a significant move in the republicans' direction.
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these are more cuts than many on our side might support, but it shows how seriously the white t house is about wanting a avert a shutdown. if they are planningy to reject such an offer, then it's clear they won't take yes for an answer. and are seeking a shutdown. the republican leadership in the house, with the tea party breathing down their back, won't take yes for an answer and won't support the original proposal made by budget chairman ryan of roughly $70 billion in spending cuts, and we know that congressman ryan is hardly a liberal or a moderate. so it shows you how far to the right the republican leadership is being forced to move by the tea party. this level of spending cuts was good enough for house republicans earlier this year when hal rogers released --
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rodgers released his earlier proposal. house republicans were forced to double their spending cuts to an extreme level of $61 billion. when that happened, even hal rodgers said the house was moving beyond what was reasonable and into territory where they could never get a deal. tom latham of iowa agreed that in forcing h.r. 1 to go from from $30 billion to $60 billion in cuts, the tea party was forcing republicans to go beyond what was -- quote -- "enact "enactable." these are conservative republicans saying that the present house proposal is not enactable, cannot pass. just as the tea party forced mainstream republicans into extreme territory before, they are doing it again, and anyone who looks at this objectively
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sees that's what's happening. the speaker has said all along he wants to avoid a shutdown at all costs, and, madam president, i believe him. he's a good man. the problem is a large percentage of those in his party don't feel the same way. they think compromise is a dirty word. they think taking any steps to avert a shutdown would mean being the first to blink. so speaker boehner is caught between a shutdown and a hard place. he's caught a tiger by the tail in the form of the tea party. there is even a tea party rally planned for later this week to pressure the speaker not to budge off h.r. 1, to try and mask the divisions on their own side, the republicans have resorted to lashing out in a knee-jerk way at democrats. their latest trick is trying to accuse democrats of not having our own plan.
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that's a diversion. it rings hollow. the only proposals that have been made that would actually avoid a government shutdown are numerous compromises that democrats have offered republicans, and i'd like to remind my house friends, as you all know, the senate needs 60 votes to pass a bill. we can't pass anything without republican agreement, yet our senate republican colleagues are nowhere to be found. since the senate rejected the republican job-killing budget proposal that would cost americans 700,000 jobs a month ago, republicans have not moved an inch off their plan. speaker boehner knows when it comes to averting a government shutdown on april 8, it is the tea party, not the democrats, that are causing the trouble. at this point, the only hurdle left to a bipartisan deal, the only obstacle in the way is the
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tea party, but for the -- but for the tea party, we could have an agreement that reduces spending by a historic amount. we could have a deal that keeps the government open. a tea party rebellion may hurt the house republican leadership politically, but a shutdown will hurt americans, all americans much more. it's time for house republican leaders to rip the band-aid off. mr. speaker, it's time to forget the tea party and take the deal. there are only ten days left before the current c.r. expires. there is no new stopgap being prepared by house republicans. it seems like the only viable proposal is the one the speaker walked away from. so the speaker faces a choice: return to the deal he was prepared to accept before the
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tea party rebelled last week or risk a shutdown on april 8. i think we know what the right answer is. it is clear. the speaker has a choice: appease the tea party and shut down the government or take the right and principled stand and move the government forward by coming to a reasonable compromise between both parties that cuts the budget significantly. than alabama. mr. sessions: government funding is set to expire next week on april 8. we are in the midst of a 2011 fiscal year that ends september 30, and the congress has only appropriated money through april 8. if congress does not act by that time, the government would shut
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down. congress needs to act, but congress needs to listen to the american people, listen to the financial experts that we have dealt with, and to reduce spending and reduce the surging debt that we have, the surging annual deficit that we face this year. last predicted i think $1.6 trillion or so. maybe $1.5 trillion now. the largest deficit in the history of the republic. nothing has ever been seen like it before. and it has got to be addressed. there's no way around it. so we've got this deadline hanging over our heads, and the reason is that my colleagues and the democratic leadership here in the senate won't agree to the kind of substantial but realistic spending reductions that the house of representatives has sent to us. they sent us a budget plan that
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i think will work. but what we hear is that the sky will fall if we trim the $61 billion from a $3.7 trillion. $3.7 billion that we spend. if we reduce that spending by $61 billion, somehow this will cause the country to sink into oblivion. the american people know better than that. that is not realistic. of course we can cut those kind of numbers out of this huge budget that we have. and the american people will be better off for it. as ranking member on the budget committee, we've looked at the numbers, and that $61 billion reduces the baseline of federal spending by $61 billion. but over ten years, because its
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baseline reduction would save $860 billion. this is the kind of small but significant step that does make a difference. people say it doesn't make any difference. why don't we just increase spending? why do we cut spending at all? of course we've got to reduce spending. the american people know that the borrowed money and overspending of the past two years have failed to produce what it promised. instead, all that has been achieved through this massive surge and federal spending through the stimulus package and other programs is a crushing debt burden that weakens our economy and is a drag on our economy. as experts witnesses have told us, it threatens our economic future. alan simpson, former republican senator; erskine bowles, formerly the chief of staff to
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president clinton, appointed by president obama to cochair the debt commission, the fiscal commission, reported to us -- and jointly they submitted a written statement that said that if the united states fails to act, it faces the most predictable economic crisis in its history." this is a real warning. and they said that such a crisis could arrive as soon as or two years. people have been saying we're on the wrong track f. we don't get off of it if three, four, five years we're going to have a crisis. more and more people are warning us that that crisis is sooner. mr. bowles said give or take a little bit, we'll have a crisis. mr. simpson said i think within a year. the american people rightly expect their elected leaders to confront this threat with seriousness and candor.
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but the president has never once looked the american people in the eye and told them the truth about the financial crisis we face. has he ever discussed those kind of words with the american people that we face an actual crisis? we could have a debt problem that hit us very quickly, just like the one in 2007, that put us in a tkraoep session, and we're on a fragile recovery now. we need to keep that recovery going. the last thing we need to do is have another recession, some sofrt financial -- sort of financial kickback, pushback, collapse. it puts more people out of work. it weakens an already struggling economy. it's not necessary that this occur. the president and his budget director have instead, being truthful with us, falsely boasted to the american people that their budget, that under
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their budget we will -- quote -- "live within our means." and -- quote -- "not add more to the debt." and -- quote -- "we're not going to spend any more money than we're taking in." he submitted his ten-year budget to the congress, and that's what he says this does. but not one of those statements is true. not one. when the budget was announced, mr. bowles, whom the president appointed to head the debt commission, said it's nowhere close to what we need to be doing to get our house in order. in fact, the congressional budget office finds this, that our annual deficits never once fall below $748 billion. i was saying $600 billion. now the congressional budget office has done an independent analysis of the president's budget, and they say the lowest
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single annual deficit in ten years would be $748 billion. well, is it going down, you ask? isn't this budget going to put us living within our means and live on what we take? well, in the outer years, the deficits, out seven, eight, nine, ten years of the president's budget, they're going up. and in the tenth year, the budget deficit is $1.2 trillion, $1.2 billion deficit that year. you might ask: what do those numbers mean? we take in about $3.7 trillion -- excuse me. we spend this year about $3.7 trillion through september 30. we take in $2.2 trillion. this is why we're on an unsustainable path, and we've got to get off of it. it's not a partisan matter. it's a matter that we've got to
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face reality. we still have members of the senate in denial. we have the majority leader down here complaining that he might not get money for his poetry cowboy, poetry festival in nevada. give me a break. this country is heading in a path of great danger, and we need to turn around. just imagine, if you would, the fate of a c.e.o. if in the process of asking for shareholders to buy company stock, he declared -- quote -- "we're not adding to our debt." while his accountants were telling him that the company's debt was on a path to double, as our debt is. the president even nominated a budget director, helen higgenbottom, who has no budget experience, deputy director, who attempted to defend these claims before the budget committee last
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week. i don't know, maybe they couldn't find anybody that would take the job with experience. the best i can tell, she has never had a single business course or economics course, never managed any kind of organization or budget ever. majored i think in political science and campaigned for president obama and senator john kerry. we need some seriousness here. and we in congress are not stepping up to the plate, frankly. we're not taking the kind of decisive action needed to curb our rising debt, and the majority leader, our good friend, senator reid, which is a tough job, i've got to tell you, it's a tough job, but now he's saying that the problem is as a division within the republican party. you see, you have got these extremists over here, new republicans who got elected last
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election promising to do something about spending, and they are out of touch. you see, they are extremists. and there are some good republicans over here that they have been here a long time. you know, we know how to get along and cut deals, and we're going to take care of this thing. you have just got to keep these people under control. but i might remind the leader that nearly -- that every single republican either voted for the the $61 billion in cuts or called for more cuts. there is no division in the republican party about the need to have reasonable and significant reductions in expenditures. there is an essentially anonymous republican agreement, we ought to cut $61 billion or more from this year's discretionary budget. by contrast, the majority leader lost nearly 1/5 of his caucus on
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his proposal which was basically to do nothing. cut $4 billion, i think, reduce spending by $4 billion. ten members or more defected. they knew that wasn't enough, even under pressure from the president and from the majority leader. so it's clear where the momentum lies, and i just want to repeat again, though, this is not and cannot be seen as a partisan squabble. the chairman of the federal reserve talked to us a few weeks ago. he submitted a written statement to the budget committee, and this is what mr. bernanke said. he talked about the congressional budget office debt projections. i have made some reference to those and how dangerous they show our path to be. this is what mr. bernanke said."
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the c.b.o. projections, by design, ignore the adverse effects that such high debt and deficits would likely have on our economy, but if the government debt and deficits were actually to grow at the pace envisioned in this scenario, the economic and financial effects would be severe. diminishing confidence on the part of investors that deficits will be brought under control would likely lead to sharply rising interest rates on government debt, and potentially to broader financial turmoil. moreover, high rates of government borrowing would both drain funds away from capital private formation and increase our foreign indebtedness with adverse long-term effects on u.s. output, incomes and standard of living.
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he goes on to say it is widely understood that the federal government is on an unsustainable path, yet as a nation, we have done little to address this critical threat to our economy. doing nothing will not be an option indefinitely the longer we wait to act, the greater the risk and the more wrenching the inevitable changes on the budget will be. by contrast, the prompt adoption of a credible program to reduce future deficits would not onlien hans the economic growth and stability in the long run but would also yield substantial near-term benefits now, in terms of lower long-term interest rates and increased consumer and business confidence. close quote. this is the head of the federal reserve, the man most, i guess, supposedly knowledgeable about the economy of the united states of america. we're not making this up.
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so we have a proposal from our democratic majority in the senate to do nothing. basically, to do zero, nada. and this kind of warning we have got, we are living in a fantasy world if we don't think we can cut $61 billion from this budget. my friend, john mcmillan, just elected the director of agriculture and industries in alabama, is facing a critical crisis in his department. i just saw the headline in the paper. he has 200 employees -- he had 200 employees. he's going to have to lay off 60 of them. cities and counties are doing this kind of thing all over the country. do you think the state of alabama will cease to exist if that happens? it's too much. i hope -- it's sad that they have got that kind of challenge
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before them. we don't have to do that much right now, but if we took those kind of steps, something significant, we could make a bigger difference than a lot of people realize in the debt that we're facing. governor cuomo in new york and christie in new jersey and brown in california and others all over the country are making real significant alterations in their level of spending while we worry about protecting the cowboy poetry festival in nevada. and remember this: people have forgotten this. since bob took -- since president obama took office, discretionary spending on our federal programs in congress have increased 24%. we didn't have the money for
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that. we never should have increased spending that much. it was a big error. but you know what they said? don't worry, we're making investments in the future. but you've got to have money to make investments. if you don't have money, how can you make investments? all of this increase was borrowed. we're in huge debt, and when you increase spending, you have to borrow the money to increase spending. every penny is borrowed. we did an $800 billion stimulus package. every penny was borrowed. we will pay $30 billion-plus a year interest on that borrowed money for as long as i'm alive, and longer, no doubt. there is no plan to pay that debt off. and i know people are talking about working out.
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they are trying to reach a compromise so we don't have to shut the government down, and i certainly hope that's true. but i do not believe that we need any tax and spend compromise, and i will not support that, and i don't think the american people will support it either. they know we spend too much. they know we have ramped up spending $800 billion for the stimulus package, discretionary spending has gone up 24% in two years, and they know we can reduce federal spending without this country sinking into the ocean. that's what they expect us to do. that's what governors are doing, mayors are doing, county commissioners are doing, all over my state, all over america. we have got to recognize that washington is spending too much, not taxing too little. how can we ask americans to pay more in taxes when washington is not even willing to cut
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cut $61 billion from our bloated bureaucracy? if i have a proposition from our colleagues who wish to raise taxes before we consider asking the american people to pay another cent in taxes, why don't we first drain every cent of waste from the federal bureaucracy? we will never truly dig ourselves out of this crisis and put this nation on a real path to prosperity unless we bring our spending under control. america's strength is not measured by the size of our government, but the scope of our freedoms and the vigor and vitality of the american people and their willingness to invest and work hard for the future. that's what makes us strong. endless spending, taxing and borrowing is a certain path to decline, and we're on that path today and we must get off it. so we know the threat, we know
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what we need to do. the economy is trying to rebound. so let's take some good steps today. let's pass this $61 billion reduction in spending this fiscal year. it will amount to about about $860 billion over ten years. it will be a very significant first step. that's what's before us today. not the other issues. we have got to decide what we are going to do about funding the government between now and september 30. that's the rest of this fiscal year. let's take a firm step on that. let's begin to look at what we are going to do for next year's budgets and what we're going to do about our surging entitlement programs that are on an unsustainable course. we can do all those things and leave our country healthy and vigorous and prosperous for the
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future. i truly believe that that's the kind of thing that we need to be doing now. so i am really baffled that we don't know why that the president is not leading more, he's not talking directly to the american people about why this is important. is it just a political squabble with the president sitting here and going to rio and talking about libya, or is it true, as mr. bernanke says, we -- we are on an unsustainable path? or is it true that mr. erskine bowles, the president's own director of the fiscal commission, says that we are facing the most predictable economic crisis in this country's history, and said it
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could happen within two years? are we making this up? the american people get it. they tell me what's going on in washington? you've got to get your house in order. that's what this past election was about. people understand we need some action and some leadership here, but we're not getting it. i just truly believe if we could get together, if we could get a bipartisan effort to look at this $61 billion, we could disagree on how to reduce that spending. maybe republicans have this idea and democrats have that. let's work all that out, but let's reach an agreement that actually reduces spending by enough to make a difference, that the world would say wow, the congress is beginning to take some steps. that was a nice, good, strong
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first step. now if they will stay on that path, maybe the united states will get on the road to prosperity again and stay out of this dangerous debt crisis area that we're in today and get on the right path to prosperity. this country's ready to grow. it's ready to rebound. it just needs a clear signal from washington, in my opinion. american leaders, those of us in this congress, have no higher duty, no greater moral responsibility than to take all appropriate steps to protect the good people we serve from the clear and present danger we face. it's time to get busy about it, madam president. i believe that if we act strongly and with clarity, the american people not only will support it but they will be happy with it and it will make a positive difference for our country, and i would thank the president and would yield the
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president and would yield the >> remarks from senator jeff sessions during today's earlier session of the u.s. senate. senators are, right now, taking part in their weekly party lunches, and this afternoon we expect further debate on a small business bill that funds development of tech and research firms. lawmakers working to determine a voting schedule for this afternoon. live picture from what we call the ohio clock. we wait here as senators are returning from their weekly party lunches. sometimes they stop here to make comments on their way in to the senate chamber. stand by and watch and wait for some of those senators as they pass through. the senate is expected to gavel in at 2:15 eastern. of course, we will bring you live coverage of the senate here on c-span2.
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>> and while we wait for senators to arrive, the supreme court is questioning a sex discrimination lawsuit on behalf of at least a half million women claiming claiming that walmart favors men over women in pay and promotions. the justices heard oral argument in the case this morning. the associated press reporting that justices suggested they are troubled by lower court decisions allowing the class action lawsuit to proceed against the world's largest retailer. this morning's "washington journal" talked with a reporter about that case.ight >> host: adam with "the new york times," supreme courtfi correspondent, joining us on the phone this morning to talk a case that the court is going to be debating today.ourt adam, i want to show the viewers the headline from your piece yesterday, supreme court to weigh sociology issue in walmart discrimination case. what is this case? >> guest: this is the biggest employment discrimination class action ever.
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it's brought by as many as 1.5 million women who claim that walmart discriminated against them in decisions about pay and promotion. but the case itself is not yet about is this that true, did walmart really discriminate. the question the court's going to look at is can these women get together, band together in a single class action that would put the company at risk of paying out billions of dollars? >> host: and so the case -- the court begins looking at this case today. whathe happens today, when willa decision be made? >> guest: the court hears an hour of argument starting at 10:00 in the morning, and we will almost certainly get a decision by the end of june when the court's term ends. and this case is of great interest to the business community because they're afraid that a class action this big is the sort of thing they can't afford to fight but have to settle.affo >> host: and what do democrats look at this case, what do they say? >> guest: well, a lot of
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democrats are supporters of the civil rights laws would say thar the only way to get justice for these women is to allow them not to try to battle this enormouson company one by one, but to joinn together in a class action. b they're also a little bit wary of the roberts court which according to some studies showsr an inclination to be helpful to business interests. >> host: so what are the ramifications for this case?ho >> guest: it would, to hear the business community talk about it, it would basically entitle any group of women against any large employer to show some statistics, to put together aco collection of what the defense would call anecdotes and put, put companies to enormous risk t of paying multibillion dollar settlements. >> host: so what will the supreme court justices hear today from walmart? what will be their argument?
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>> guest: walmart's argument will be, listen, first of all, our policy is that we don't discriminate, that we have a very strong anti-discrimination policy. p that we're a very big companyimn with thousands of stores. women work in more than 170 different classifications and maybe bad stuff happens here and there. and if that's the case, those h individual women are certainlyh entitled to sue. but they'd say that there's no to evidence that 1.5 million women all suffered in exactly the same way with, and they say that in order for a class action to go forward, these women need to have more in common than thea fact that they're women and they worked for walmart.han they need to point to some specific policy on the part of the company that caused this discrimination, and to hear walmart tell it, there's reallyn nothing along those lines. >> host: and real quickly, adam, the women are going to say what in this case? >> guest: so the women say thath they've come forward with powerful evidence of discrimination, more than 10' intelligents of it -- incidents
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of it, with statistics that shos suspicious gaps in pay and promotion. and their basic line is the only way they can get justice is toay be able to come together, band together in a single class action of as many as 1.5 million women and to make them try these suits one by one by one by one is against this enormous corporation is not fair to them. >> host: all right. adam liptak, supreme court correspondent with the new york times. thank you, sir, so much, for joining us on the phone. and we'll come back to you when we hear more about this case. >> senator mitch mcconnell coming to the ohio clock making remarks after the weekly party lunches. >> well, as everyone knows, the discussions are ongoing to try to reach an agreement on a final
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continuing resolution for the balance of this fiscal year. one thing that's not particularly helpful in reaching an agreement or -- are some of the comments on the other side. i'll just give you an example. "the new york times" says that our colleague, senator schumer, said, quote, i always use the word extreme. that is what the caucus instructed me to use this week. that's really not helpful if we're trying to reach an agreement here. howard dean, the former chairman of the democratic national committee, says he's rooting for a shutdown. he said, if i was head of the dnc, i would be quietly rooting for it, said dean, speaking on a national journal insider conference panel tuesday morning. i know who's going to get blamed. we've been down this road before. i bring that up only to make the point that the discussions that
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are going on between the two majorities and the two houses presumably are in good faith trying to reach a conclusion. they're ongoing, and we hope we'll be able to do that sometime in the very near future. john? >> just mention one thing. when i was home back louisiana louisiana -- last week, in addition to the spending issues which people are still focused on and in my state also the need for the private sector to create more jobs, the other thing that came up frequently -- maybe it's a little bit special to my state, i don't know -- but the price of gasoline which has doubled since president obama's been in office is a matter of great concern probably because of the distances people have to drive back there. but everybody that i talked to was asking the same question, why doesn't the president grant these permits so that folks can drill either in shallow water or in deep water in the gulf of mexico, and whatever happened to
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exploration in the state of alaska and so on? in other words, wondering what the policy, the energy policy of this president is when he goes down to brazil and brags about a $2 billion loan that we helped the brazilians get for their deepwater exploration and yet at the same time won't grant permits here in the united states. it's perplexing to my constituents, it's perplexing to me. clearly, we need an energy policy that takes advantage of the enormous resources that we have here in the united states. >> as senator kyl indicated with $4 gasoline prices looming, the attention of most americans is turning to price of energy. i appreciate the president's attitude during the japan nuclear crisis in terms of calls for lessons about safety for our own nuclear plants and our need
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to continue with nuclear power because it provides safe, clean electricity. but in the address that the president plans to make tomorrow on energy, i hope what he says is that we immediate to find more -- we need to find more american energy, use less energy, save money and create jobs. and we do that by exploring for more american oil offshore on federal lands and in alaska, by exploring for more natural gas. we have a 200-year supply of natural gas. we could be self-sufficient. and by research for clean energy that is low cost. i hope the president will abandon his high-tax energy plan that drives jobs overseas looking for cheap energy and join us in working for a low-cost clean energy plan that makes us more independent and creates jobs. >> i think as the leader pointed out by the comments the democrats are making that they
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really aren't serious about solving our country's fiscal problems. and, you know, the president's been missing in action, the democrat leadership here in the congress has been missing in action. we know what the house republicans have put forward. we've had votes on that over here, but they just flat don't seem serious about it. and i, you know, if you look at the vote that we're going to have tomorrow, i think you're going to find out who's serious, too, about creating jobs. we're going to have a vote on preventing the epa from imposing huge new costs on businesses, on agriculture, on the people who are out there trying to get this economy growing again. and, obviously, the democrats are going to try and put up a couple of political cover votes, but the real vote is going to be whether or not we are serious about reining in these runaway goth agencies that -- government agencies that continue to look for new ways to make it more difficult and more costly to do business in this country. all of these things are going to lead to higher energy rates whether it's electricity or
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fuel. you've heard my colleagues talk about that and the impact it's having on the american people. they've figured it out, and i hope that the democrats here in washington, d.c. will soon figure out as well that the american people mean business. they are serious about getting spending and debt under control, they are serious about putting policies in place that will grow the economy and create jobs, and everything that is coming out of washington, d.c. these days, coming out of the administration and coming out of this congress dill kills jobs and makes it more difficult and more costly to do business. >> well, families all around this country are feeling the pain at the pump, and for families raising kids and dealing with bills and paying a mortgage, this absolutely effects their quality of life. i come from a big energy state, wyoming, and we talk about energy security for our country, environmental stewardship which we do very well there as well as economic growth. and what i see coming out of this administration raises the cost of energy.
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we want to make energy as clean as we can as fast as we can and do it in a way that doesn't raise costs for american families. when the president goes to brazil and says we want to be one of their best customers, it generates "the washington post" headline of drill, brazil, drill. and to me, that's just importing energy and exporting american jobs, and that's not what the american people want. >> we'll take a couple of questions. yep. >> last night you thought the president needed to answer in his speech on libya. i wonder if you feel like he answered those questions. if not, why not, and is there a role right now for congress to play? >> well, i think secretary clinton and secretary gates are coming up tomorrow. it'll be an opportunity to follow up further on what's happening in the last 24 hours in libya and with the questions. so the president's remarks were a step in the right direction. didn't answer every question, but we'll continue to pose those
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to secretary clinton and secretary gates tomorrow. >> [inaudible] >> well, what is the ultimate outcome? what's the desired outcome, for example. if our policy isn't regime change, what is our policy? yeah. >> can you imagine any kind of u.s. role in e events in syria, military intervention or humanitarian intervention? >> i don't hear anybody calling for that. i mean, we, obviously, feel badly for the syrian people that they've been subjected to this kind of regime for all of these years 40 or 50 years. but with so much tumult all throughout the middle east, we don't, i don't think we have a single policy that fits immediately every single country. they're all different. >> senator mcconnell?
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>> yep. >> on the c.r., senate democrats and the white house are advancing another $20 billion in cuts. does that represent an overall level, bring us to a level that you would find acceptable or in the vicinity? >> well, i think we want to reach a final agreement for this year, and i think there's widespread agreement on that. and the discussions are ongoing. i heard a question here about the -- >> [inaudible] >> yeah. >> [inaudible] would the leader be able to -- [inaudible] issues are not right for a decision in this environment, putting off -- [inaudible] >> with well, it is ripe for decision. the epa is seeking to regulate greenhouse gases and as several of my colleagues mentioned as a result of that have an extraordinarily adverse impact on the economy. they're going forward. i can't think of a better time for senators to be on record as
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to how they feel about that. and then, finally, id say i think the reason we haven't had this vote for a while is because they've had to kind of hustle to come up with enough votes to defeat it. maybe they will, but it'll be an opportunity for everybody to go on record so folks at home will know how senators feel about this massive overregulation which is going to have an extraordinarily adverse impact on our economy. thank you. >> [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> we'll leave this location at this point and go live, now, to the senate floor. senators have returned from their weekly party lunches to debate a small business funding bill. live coverage, now, of the u.s. senate.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson nelson: mr. presidenk consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. nelson: mr. president, i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. nelson: mr. president, i
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want to talk about our anything's financial troubles. over the years, i have supported a balanced budget, i have supported amendments that did that, i have supported spending caps and spending cuts. and recently, we had an issue here on a proposal to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. i voted against it because i felt like we needed to do more than what that amendment proposed. the fact is, we need to do much more. i agree that congress should cut expenses, but, mr. president, taking whacks at only 12% of the budget, that part of the budget that is the so-called discretionary spending, which is
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outside of defense, that is not part of the mandatory spending, such as all of the entitlement programs -- and that's only 12% of the budget, and it includes funding for education and roads and bridges and medical research and nasa and environmental research -- even if you whacked all of that, it's still not going to solve the problem. and these things that we face today with this huge out-of-whack budget, where we're spending so much more than we're taking in in revenue and the difference that we're going out and borrowing to pay the bills that are here but revenue only here, it's led us to the
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position that we're in, which is we're deep in debt. and cutting this domestic discretionary spending alone is barely a banne band-aid, let ala real cure. what we need is a comprehensive long-term package. mr. president, for example, when american families fall on hard times, they just don't cut back on going out for dinner and for seeing movies. the american family is forced to make wholesale lifestyle sacrifices. or take, for instance, when a company, a corporation faces the threat of bankruptcy, they don't only cut the salaries or stop
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buying office supplies. what they do is they go in and restructure entire delivery schemes and future investments. and in the same way, we just can't focus on slicing what is the conversation that's going on down in the house of representatives right now, slicing one small part of the budget, which is discretionary spending. because that's not going to reduce the annual deficit and get at the national debt. we've got to do more. and even if we cut huge swaths of discretionary spending, including the programs that help those who need it most, our
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expenses for all the other programs in government, mandatory programs, are still growing exponentially. so everything's got to be on the table. now, how in the world are we going to do this in the next 2 1/2 weeks? by the time the clock runs out on april the 8th where we are faced with funding the government for the remaining six months of this fiscal year or not, how are we going to it? what will it look like if our debt keeps growing? well, the federal government is going to have to start writing huge checks to our creditors. who's a creditor? china is a creditor. and we're having to write for them huge checks on interest
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payments alone that won't have anything left to pay for things that we promised to our people and no one else will want to lend us anymore money. the money people have spent their lives paying into social security may not come back to them unless we can solve this budgetary crisis. bonds that have been bought and held for decades will go down in value if we can't meet our debt obligations. and, of course, if we don't get to the point that we can pay our debts, then the stock market could even have a worse crash than we had last time. so if we don't address this pending debt crisis now, our children and grandchildren could
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be sorely affected by the financial condition of this country in the future. every economist that we've listened to lately has said that need to provide certainty to our creditors and to the markets. in other words, that they need to know that we will get our debt under control before interest payments skyrocket and whether our obligations are going to overwhelm us would certainly lend itself for us being in a financially uncertain position. no one knows how long we have before our creditors get nervous and start to make it harder for the u.s. to borrow money, but they all agree that we have to put in to place a long-term plan
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instead of waiting to act until the crisis is upon us. the crisis is coming. it's coming on april the 8th. that's just the first crisis. assuming that we can get through this and get the government funded for the remaining six months of the fiscal year until the end of september, the next crisis that's coming is the debt ceiling probably in early june that has to be raised in order for the government to pay its obligations. we're going to have to have a plan for next year's budget, the fiscal year that starts october the 1st, we're going to have to have a plan in place in order to get the votes to increase the debt ceiling. so between now and june, first in a couple of weeks, and then in a couple of months, we're
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going to have to have a comprehensive plan. now, i'm going to support cuts across the board. i'm going to support cuts in discretionary spending, but i also want to see cuts in the equivalent of spending, that we call tax expenditures that are nothing but outrageous tax breaks that we give and i want to give you an example in some of the royality payments that are not being paid by oil companies for their privilege of extracting oil from federal lands, particularly those lands in the bottom of the gulf of mexico. there are corporations that ship massive amounts of jobs overseas and they get tax breaks for it.
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and they make billions of -- of dollars of profits each year for those activities. there are also foreign accounts, money that is made by u.s. citizens that those foreign accounts are not reported here to the u.s. and tax is not being paid on that income coming into a u.s. citizen. and so there's plenty of opportunity to tighten up and another place that we can tighten up is to implement the changes that we made in the health care bill that cut the fraud that plagues all of us in health care fraud, particularly medicare and medicaid fraud, and it's costing us billions an billions of dollars.
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so there are tireless efforts that are being made by a lot of senators right now trying to work together to draft a comprehensive plan. i came to the senate to fight for my state and for our country and if we continue to allow a debt crisis to happen when, in fact, we had the opportunity to avoid it, it's going to be far more reckless than casting a vote that is going to be disliked by some. and i'm ready to stand and have that fight. and, yet, we shouldn't have to. we should, as the good book says, come, let us reason together, and then we can find a comprehensive solution to this budgetary crisis. mr. president, i yield the
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floor, and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i ask that the proceedings under the quorum call be suspended and ask that i be recognized in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: i thank you, mr. president. i'd like to take time to address the ongoing situation in libya. last night the president made a
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strong defense of our military action in libya. i welcome his remarks and i appreciate he explained why this intervention was both right and necessary. especially in light of the unprecedented democratic awakening that is now sweeping the broader middle east. there's been much criticism of the president's handling of the situation in libya. some legitimate, some not. but the fact is because we did act, the united states and our coalition partners averted a strategic and humanitarian disaster in libya. even as we seek adjustments to u.s. policy where appropriate to ensure that we accomplish the u.s. goal, as stated by the president, forcing qadhafi to leave power, i believe the president's decision to intervene in libya deserves strong bipartisan support here in congress and among all americans. it's worth remembering, especially for the rittics of this inter -- critics of this
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intervention, exactly what we would be facing in italy now had we not taken action. just over one week ago qadhafi was bearing down an benefi on b. qadhafi pledged, in his words, no mercy for these people. he pledged to go house to house to crush everyone opposed to it. had we not taken action in libya, bengazi would now be remembered in the same breath as seveneza. libyan refugees would now be streaming into egypt, destabilizing those countries during their already daunting political transitions. if we had allowed qadhafi to slaughter arabs and muslims who
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were lead -- pleading the u.s. to help them. al qaeda would have exploited the resulting chaos and hopelessness. the forces of counterrevolution in the region would have gotten the message that the world would tolerate the violent oppression of peaceful demonstrations for universal rights. this would have been a dramatic setback for the arab spring, which represents the most consequential geopolitical opportunity in centuries. that's why libya matters. why we were right to intervene. yes, there are many other places in the world where evil resides, where monsters brutalize civilians. the united states cannot and should not intervene in all of these places. but we were right to do so in libya because of the unique position that this country now
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occupies at a moment of historic change in the middle east and north africa. this does not mean we should take the actions towards other countries in the region as we have toward libya. each of these countries is different. their challenges and situations are different. when governments, both friend and foe, use force an oppression to crush peaceful demands for universal rights, we need to be clear in our condemnation and we need to support the aspirations of all people who seek greater freedom, swru, justice an econoc opportunity. qadhafi's brutal slaughter of fellow arab and muslims has set libya apart from the other countries and it needed the response that we and our international partners have
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taken. while some believe that the president should have sought a congressional authorization for the use of force or formal declaration for war prior to taking military action in libya, i think it was in keeping with past actions, be it president clinton's action in the balkans, had congress taken even a few days to debate the use of force prior to acting in libya, it would have been nothing left to say in bengazi. that's why our founders gave the president the power, as commander in chief, to respond swiftly and energetically to crises. what we need now is not a debate about the past, that can come later, many of house wanted a no-fly zone at the time still are convinced this could have been over by now. but the fact is, it's in the past. what we need is a
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forward-looking strategy to accomplish the u.s. goal as articulated by the president of forcing ka da qadhafi to leave . we've not yet secured our goal. as some of us predicted, u.s. and coalition air power has decisively and quickly reversed the momentum of qadhafi's forces, but now we need to refine u.s. strategy to achieve success as quickly as possible. as every military strategist knows, the purpose of applying military force is to achieve policy goals. our goal in libya is that qadhafi must go, and it is the right goal, but let's be honest with ourselves. we're indeed talking about regime change, whether the president wants to call it that or not. i agree with the president that we should not send u.s. ground troops to libya to remove
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qadhafi from power. that is exactly what libyan opposition forces are fighting to do. they are now on the outskirts of qadhafi's hometown of cert, and they appear to have no intention of stopping there. thus far, u.s. and coalition air powers cleared a path for the opposition to advance. u.n. security council resolution 1973 authorizes the use of -- quote -- "all necessary measures to protect civilians in libya." as long as qadhafi remains in power, he will pose an increasing danger to the world and civilians in libya will not be safe. ultimately, we need to be straight with the american people and with ourselves. we are not neutral in the conflict in libya. we want the opposition to succeed, and we want qadhafi to leave power. these are just causes.
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we must therefore provide the necessary and appropriate assistance to aid the opposition in their fight. that certainly means continuing to use air power to degrade qadhafi's military forces in the field, and i'm encouraged by the fact that we are now bringing in ac-130 and a-10 attack aircraft to provide more close-in support. this is the libyan people's fight, but we need to continue to help make it a fairer fight until qadhafi is forced to leave power. i was very encouraged today to hear our ambassador to the united nations suggest that the united states may provide arms to the opposition. we should also provide them, if requested and as appropriate, with resources, command and control technology, communications equipment, battlefield intelligence and training. we need to take every responsible measure to help the
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libyan opposition change the balance of power on the ground. yes, it's been documented that many eastern libyans went to fight in iraq. many met their end there, too. but libyans are not rising up against qadhafi now under the banner of al qaeda. to the quarter, -- contrary, they have largely pledged their support to the transitional national council which is based in benghazi and representative of tribes and communities across libya. the leaders of this council are not unknown to us. they have met with senior administration officials, including the secretary of state, as well as other world leaders. their supporters are brave lawyers, students and human rights advocates who just want to choose their own future free from qadhafi. they have declared their vision for libya as -- quote -- "a constitutional democratic civil state based on the rule of law,
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respect for human rights, and the guarantee of equal rights and opportunities for all its citizens. if these moderate democratic forces do not succeed in libya, we know exactly who would fill the void: the radicals and the ideologues. we have seen this movie before. we cannot make the assumption that time is on our side. it is not. perhaps qadhafi's regime will crack tomorrow. i hope it will. but hope is not a strategy. if our strategy does not succeed in forcing qadhafi to leave power sooner rather than later, we run the risk of prolonged and bloodied stalemate. this is not in america's interests, nor in the interests of the libyan people. the risks are still too high of repeating a similar income from the first gulf war where we had crushing sanctions and a no-fly
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zone in place. but still saddam hussein managed to hold onto power, threaten the world and brutalize his own people for another 12 years. and only then it took an armed invasion to remove him from power. this -- that is not a definition of success in libya, and it certainly is not a limited mission. it is a recipe for a costly and indefinite stalemate. we must avert that outcome. our mission in libya is going well, but we have not yet accomplished our goal. i am extremely thankful and grateful for our many friends and allies, especially our arab partners, for contributing to this mission. however, none of this is a substitute for sustained u.s. leadership. if our goal in libya is worth fighting for -- and i believe it is -- then the united states must remain strongly engaged to force qadhafi to leave power.
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nothing less is desirable or sustainable. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: >> a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. webb: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with and i be allowed to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. webb: thank you, mr. president. i was originally going to call up the pending amendment, amendment 215, senator rockefeller's amendment. i'm informed that that amendment is at present the subject of some negotiation in a consent package, but i would like to speak briefly today in support of the amendment that has been filed by senator rockefeller and on his behalf also since he is away from the senate today attending the funeral of a close
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friend. like senator mcconnell, i have expressed deep reservations about the consequences of unilateral regulation of our greenhouse gases by the e.p.a. in my view, this will result in long and expensive regulatory processes that could lead to overly stringent and very costly controls on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. this regulatory framework is so broad and potentially far-reaching that it could eventually touch nearly every facet of this nation's economy, putting unnecessary burdens on our industries and driving many businesses overseas through policies that have been implemented purely at the discretion of the executive branch and absent the clearly stated intent of the congress. our farms, our factories, our transportation systems, our power generating capacity all would be subject to these new regulations. this unprecedented sweeping authority over our economy at
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the hands of the e.p.a. is at the heart of senator mcconnell's concern and ultimately whichever way one ends up voting on his amendment, that common concern defines this debate. it's not a new concern for me. when this administration declared in november of 2009 that the president would sign a politically binding agreement at the united nations framework on climate change in copenhagen, i strongly and publicly objected. i sent a letter to the president stating -- quote -- "only specific legislation agreed upon in the congress or a treaty ratified by the senate could actually create such a commitment on behalf of our country." i have also expressed on several occasions my belief that this administration appears to be erecting new regulatory barriers to the safe and legal mining of coal resources in virginia and in other states. my consistent message to the e.p.a. is that good intentions do not in and of themselves
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equal the clear and unambiguous guidance from our congress. we can see this in the approach the e.p.a. has taken or attempted to take on the regulation of coal ash, on regulating industrial and commercial boilers, on improving new levels of ethanol into gasoline, and most importantly its overreach to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources. i have repeatedly raised these issues with the administration and with my colleagues here in the senate. in examining this issue, i have also reviewed carefully the supreme court's holding in massachusetts v. e.p.a. my opposition to the e.p.a.'s present regulatory scheme with respect to carbon dioxide for stationary sources stems in part from my reading of this case. i am not convinced that the clean air act was ever intended to regulate or to classify as a dangerous pollutant something as basic and ubiquitous in our
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atmosphere as carbon dioxide. i say that, mr. president, as one of the few members of this body who is an engineer. to quote one of the most influential supreme court justices from the last century, justice cardozo, -- quote -- "the legislation which has found expression in this code is not canalized from the banks which keep it flowing." the case justice cardozo was commenting on dealt with a different issue but the constitutional precept still applies. congress should never abdicate or transfer to others the essential legislative function given to it and it alone by the constitution. the sweeping actions that the e.p.a. proposes to undertake clearly overflow the appropriate regulatory banks established by congress, with the potential to affect every aspect of the american economy. such action, in my view, represents a significant overreach by the executive
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branch. notwithstanding these serious concerns with what i view as e.p.a.'s potentially unchecked regulation in a number of areas important to our economy, i do have concerns about the mcconnell amendment for a number of reasons. first, senator mcconnell's resolution would jeopardize the progress that this administration has made in forging a consensus on motor vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards. the obama administration has brokered an agreement to establish the one national program for fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. this agreement means that our beleaguered automotive industry will not face a patchwork quilt of varying state and federal emissions standards. significantly, this agreement is directly in line with the holding in massachusetts v. e.p.a. which dealt with motor vehicle emissions. in fact, which dealt with new car motor vehicle emissions. both in the clean air act and in subsequent legislation enacted
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by the congress, there has been a far greater consensus on regulation of motor vehicle emissions than on stationary sources with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. it's been estimated that these new rules which are to apply to vehicles of model years 2012-2016 would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and millions of dollars in consumer savings. that agreement, however, and the regulations that will effectuate it both rest upon enforcement of the clean air act which would essentially be overturned by the mcconnell amendment. we have before us a different but equally effective mechanism to ensure that congress and not unelected federal officials can formulate our policies on climate change and on energy legislation. senator rockefeller's amendment, which i have sponsored, would suspend e.p.a.'s regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources for two years. this approach would give congress the time it needs to
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address our legitimate concerns with climate change and yet would not disrupt or reverse the progress that has been made on motor vehicle fuel and emissions standards. the majority leader had previously assured me and senator rockefeller of his commitment to bring the rockefeller amendment to the floor. i very much appreciate his stated intention today to do so. i hope we will have the opportunity to vote on this measure within the next day or so. finally, i would like to say two things. first, let me say that i share the hope of many members of this body from both sides of the aisle that we can enact some form of energy legislation this year. i have consistently outlined key elements that i'd like to see in an energy package. i have introduced legislation along with senator alexander to encourage different forms of energy legislation that would in
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and of themselves help produce a cleaner environment and more energy independence, and we should all be exploring those types of mechanisms that will at the same time incentivize factory owners, manufacturers and consumers to become more energy efficient and to fund research and development for technologies that will enable the safe and clean use of our country's vast fossil fuel and other resources. the second thing i would say, just as a comment, mr. president, since i was shown a letter earlier today from the chamber of commerce strongly suggesting that the only viable alternative in this debate is the mcconnell amendment, i would like to enter into the record at this point without objection a letter that was sent last september by the chamber of commerce and more than a dozen other business entities,
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associations in support of the rockefeller amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. webb: i thank the chair and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, let me, first of all, say to my good friend from virginia that i agreed with everything he said up until the last three minutes. you know, we have something that is -- that needs to be talked about. i would only make reference to the letter that has been entered into the record that, yes, they did make that statement. if the choice is to do nothing at all or to have the rockefeller amendment, it's better to delay something bad for two years. but that's not the choice. the choice is -- and he's referred to it as the mcconnell amendment, the bill i introduced and now introduced as an amendment to the small business act, is one that will actually resolve the problem. i think it's necessary to set the record straight as to what
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the two alternatives really are. i call them cover. this is kind of a term that's used inside these halls. when someone's wanting to vote for something, vote against something the people at home want, they give them something else to vote for so they can offer cover, something normally meaningless such as these two cover votes. the cap-and-trade agenda, i think we all understand, is destroying jobs in america and certainly decreasing our domestic energy supply. as a consequence the consumers are going to pay more for their gas, for their electrical bills and attack affordable energy. but it can be stopped. it can be stopped by the passage of the energy tax act of 2011. as we're looking at it now, that same bill encompassed as an amendment called amendment number 183 to the small business act. let me go back, if i could, in
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history to make sure that people understand where we are today and how we got here. many years ago, back in the 1990's, they came forward -- and this is during the clinton-gore administration -- with the kyoto treaty. they went to i don't see toerbgs japan, and -- they went to kyoto, japan, and said we want to join with all the other countries and reduce emissions from co2. this is a treaty you would sign on to. most of the european countries did. many others did. i might add now, many years later, none of them who signed on to it were able to accomplish any kind of reduction, meaningful reduction in emissions. but nonetheless, we had that. i remember standing here at this podium and saying back then that we're not going to ratify any agreement that was made at kyoto that doesn't affect the developing countries the same as the developed countries. in other words, if it's not going to cover china and mexico
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and different countries in africa, then we don't want to be just the only twhaupbz this affects -- the only ones this affects because it is going to be a punitive thing. secondly, we were not going to ratify any kind of treaty that was an economic hardship on our country. we successfully stopped it. in 2003 they started introducing legislation that would do by legislation what the kyoto treaty would have done but it would only affect the united states of america. well, at that time republicans were a majority. i was the chairman of a committee called the environment and public works committee. we had the jurisdiction over this issue. and so i almost unilaterally was able to stop this from taking place, legislation. we had the same legislation that came up again in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009. and it's been before us for votes now in this, in the senate seven different times, and each time we defeated it. i might add, mr. president,
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defeated it by a larger margin each time that we defeated it. it's kind of interesting becaus i've had so many people say to me, you know, what if you're wrong? what if co2 is damaging to the environment? what are the causes of some of these problems? i have to say the science has been mixed on this. the science has been cooked in many cases. the united nations, who came up with the ipcc, which is the science used to base all these new programs on, has been pretty much scandalized in the climategate situation. but nonetheless, that's something that we don't really, really don't need to talk about. the point is that we were able to stop any legislation. why did we want to stop legislation and put restrictions on the, on co2? well, one reason is it came out very clear, and i'll always give my appreciation to lisa jackson.
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lisa jackson is the obama-appointed director at the environmental protection agency. i asked her at a public hearing, live on tv, if we were to pass any of these pieces of legislation -- at that time i think it was the waxman-markey bill -- would this have meaningful reduction in terms of co2 emissions in the world? and the answer was no, it wouldn't because this would only apply to the united states of america. and if we do it here, we'll take all the financial hardship of doing it. however, as we lose our manufacturing base, they go to other countries where there are less emission requirements. china is a good example. china, doors are open now to try to say we're cranking out three or four coal-fired generating plants in china every week. manufacturers come in here, we've got the energy that you need. so they were unable to do it. and when the obama administration came in with a strong majority in both the
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house and the senate, they said all right, since you're not going to pass cap-and-trade, then we will do it through regulations. what would cap-and-trade do to america? granted, by everyone's admission, it would not reduce emissions at all worldwide. so what would it cost? well, the cost was put together back during the kyoto treaty by, it was the wharton school at that time. since then m.i.t., c.r.a., many others have come in. the range is always between $300 billion and $400 billion a year. i'm not as smart as a lot of guys around here, so when i hear about billions and trillions, i say how does that really affect people in my state of oklahoma? i have the math. i think -- i say to the presiding officer right now, i take the total number of people and families in my state of oklahoma who file a tax return, and then when they come up with something that's going to cost our nation $300 billion to $400 billion, i do the math. what that would amount to my
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average family in oklahoma who files a tax return, it would be $3,100 a year. and you don't get anything for it. so, anyway, the president came in with a new majority and he said if you're not going to pass this, we're going to go ahead and do it by regulation. we'll have the environmental protection agency do it by, by regulation. so, to do that, they had to have what is called an endangerment finding. and that is a finding that co2 is an endangerment to health. now, the courts never said that we have to regulate co2. they said if you want to, you can. that was the choice of this administration and of the environmental protection agency. i asked the question again at one of the hearings -- this is the same administrator jackson -- i said -- and this was a year ago december. i said i have a feeling you're going to come up with an endangerment finding so that you have justification for regulating co2 the same as if
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we were passing legislation to do it. her response was kind of a smile, and i said to have an endangerment finding, tough base that on science. what science are you going to base it on? she said primarily the ipcc, intergovernmental panel on climate change. that's the united nations. they are the ones that started all this fun stuff. and so i said, with that it was not more than two weeks later that the scandal broke with the recovery of some of the e-mails that were sent out by the ipcc that they had in fact cooked the science. so, nonetheless, lawsuits are pending right now and all that to try to stop the e.p.a. from regulating co2. they're doing other regulatory things right now. they're trying to do original haez legislation -- haze legislation. trying to do regulation on ozone, changing the regulations. nonetheless, this one we're talking about today is the regulation of greenhouse gases.
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so this is what is happening right now. to keep them from doing it, i introduced a piece of legislation that was called the energy tax prevention act of 2011. my good friend over in the house of representatives, fred upton, has been a friend of mine for many years, he's the chairman of the appropriate committee over there the same as i'm the ranking member of the appropriate committee here. so we introduced together the upton-inhofe -- or if you're on this side, i call it the inhofe-upton legislation that would take away the jurisdiction of the environmental protection agency to regulate greenhouse gases. you take away the jurisdiction, they can't do it. that's the ultimate solution. that's the moment of truth at you'll read in tomorrow morning's "wall street journal." they are taking that up. they'll pass it over there. on a partisan basis over here, they'll try to kill it. so what we have done, leader mitch mcconnell and i have introduced an amendment that
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encompasses my bill, the prevention act that i just referred to, and puts it on to an amendment on the small business act. that is scheduled for a vote tomorrow morning. i hope it does happen. now, the reason i'm talking today -- i've already covered this several times and i'm sure people are tired of hearing it. but they have cover votes that are coming up. we know that this is going to happen. but why is it that this administration wants to do something that is going to drive the energy costs of america upwards? this administration has said over and over again they don't want oil, they don't want coal. you can't run this machine called america without oil, gas and coal. there is a motivation here. and that is, it's come from this administration, that they want to replace fossil fuels -- oil, gas and coal -- with what they call green energy. someday that might happen. it will be long after i'm gone, i'm sure, but they might have the technology to run this country on what they call
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renewable energy. right now we'll do as much as we can with wind power, solar power, all the other options. but nonetheless, we still have to have fossil fuels to run the country. steven chu, secretary of energy for the obama administration, said -- this is a quote -- "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of europe." that's $8. this is the administration saying we want to increase the price of gasoline to be equal to what that is in western europe. and so, this is something that, it's something that has been a policy of this administration for a long time. in fact, president obama himself said under this, the cap-and-trade plan -- this is what they're trying to do now -- electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket. the president had it right, the point of cap-and-trade regulation is to make you pay more for energy bills, and the obama administration, e.p.a. is
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here to make that hafplt in a recent -- happen. in a recent editorial of the "wall street journal," the energy tax prevention act, my bill is called one of the best proposals for growth and job creation to make it on to the senate docket in years. why is that? because the e.p.a. regulations will raise energy prices and strangle economic growth. the national association of manufacturers stated -- and this is a quote -- they said -- quote -- "at a time when our economy is attempting to recover from the most severe recession since the 1930's, e.p.a. regulations will establish disincentives for the long-term investments necessary to grow jobs and kpe indict economic recovery -- expedite economic recovery." you have the families, workers and consumers are all going to feel the pain. in a study that charles rivers associates did, the international -- estimates the cap-and-trade regulations could increase wholesale electricity
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costs by 35% to 45%. what we're talking about is everyone understands if they are able to do these regulations, the e.p.a. doing what the legislature refused to do, and that is regulate the emissions of fossil fuels, it will increase electricity prices about 40%. so, what do we get in return? i think we've already mentioned you don't get anything for this because it just would drive our jobs elsewhere, and it would only affect the united states of america. now, the claims that the energy tax prevention act -- that's the amendment that we'll be voting on tomorrow -- would undermine health protections or fuel economy standards is disingenuous on the face. the amendment doesn't touch e.p.a.'s authority to regulate criteria or hazardous air pollutants. what's more, both emissions of co2 and the real pollution have been in steady decline, yet instances of asthma have been on
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the increase. so, as the regulation, as the emissions decline, the incidents has actually increased. carbon dioxide emissions don't cause asthma either directly or indirectly, and they don't harm public health. energy prevention act is not about asthma and public health. but it's about protecting jobs. by the way, there is a very well respected scientist by the name of richard lindsen from m.i.t. he wrote a letter to me i just received a couple of days ago -- it was actually a little bit longer ago than that. he said -- quote -- "as to the impact of increased co2 there is widespread agreement that modest warming should improve welfare for the united states. uts, we are -- under the circumstances we are in the bizarre situation of being able to declare a pollutant when the evidence suggests it is beneficial."
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i hesitate saying this. i'm the first one to admit i'm not a scientist. but certainly professor lindsen s. he says here we are talking about talking about reducing something that is not a problem, certainly to the health. then the other thing having to do with the highway -- this is mentioned by the senator from virginia just a few moments ago -- that somehow this is going to impair our standards of lowering gas consumption. the amendment doesn't prohibit the national highway traffic safety administration from setting fuel economy standards for cars. it stops the e.p.a. from regulating carbon dioxide from tailpipes after 2016. so the regulation, this would have no effect on that whatsoever. that is not done been i e.p.a. . that's done by nhtsa. the vote comes down to a simple choice: are you for jobs and affordable energy or president obama's strategy, energy, taxes,
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and bureaucratic regulations? of course, when you playbook at the things that are coming along, i mentioned when i started talking that there are some things called "cover" that if there's something out there that the people back home are clam thearg they want -- in this case they want this amendment that will stop the e.p.a. from regulating greenhouse gases -- then if they can vote for something else that does nothing, then they can say, we will, that's why i voted for this. it's called "cover." the rockefeller vote would be nothing except just kicking the can down the road for two years. in the meantime, the regulation goes on. urchedz the buunder the baucus s is something called the tailoring rule. it is a little more difficult. when you talk about the emissions that we are concerned with, that the e.p.a. would be regulating, they would be on any emissions that would affect all the farmers, the schoolhouses and everybody else. wwell, the baucus amendment woud
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exempt some of these small ones. when you listen to the foreign bureau, which has been very helpful in all of this all along -- i have their quotes here. listen to this, mr. president. quote -- this is the american farm bureau, just a recent quote just this year -- quote -- "farmers and ranchers would still incur the higher cost passed down from utilities, and fertilizer manufacturers that are directly related -- regulated as of january 2, 2011." we will, so if the baucus amendment passes, it's going to still be regulating the refineries, the manufacturers and that is going to be passed down and it's going to be -- the increased cost to power and energy theansdz why the farm bureau is so emfat iefnlgt i just left the farm bureau a couple of minutes ago before i came here and was talking about this very subject. well, the manufacturers feel the same way. the industrial energy consumers of america wrote the baucus approach -- quote -- "does not solve the underlying problem that regulating greenhouse gases
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under the clean air act is a very costly and -- for manufacturing. it will impact global competitiveness and encourage capital investment outside of the united states." why would that be? because if china ends up with all the jobs, then they're the ones who believe getting the investment. the only way to stop the higher cost of compliance of which the farm bureau fears is to pass the energy tax prevention act which now is senate resolution -- amendment number 183. so i -- by contrast, it couldn't be starker. i think -- i was told that tomorrow morning you may see the moment of truth going on, and that's -- i think it is going to be from "the wall street journal," that people are going to realize that there is only one way to stop this massive tax increase and regulation increase that will come. it won't be by the rockefeller amendment t won't be by the bauer cuss amendment. it'll be by the
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inhofe-mcconnell amendment that hopefully will be voted on tomorrow. that would take out from the jurisdiction of the e.p.a. the ability to regulate greenhouse gases. that's what we're hoping will happen. i think when people realize it, they're not going to be fooled by some of these, what i refer to as "cover votes." with that, i yield the floor, mr. president. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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